Trail of tears? When it comes to Terrell Owens, that phrase could definitely describe the wake left behind by the demanding wide receiver, whose career path zig-zagged through Cincinnati, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas and Buffalo.
Of course, that could also describe the trail of houses and luxury condos the talented Mr. Owens has left behind as he moved about the country, including a few places where Owens did not even suit up, since he also owns a mansion in Atlanta and a Trump condo in Miami. Not that rumors didn’t persist that the native Alabaman might play for the Falcons or Dolphins, too.
This week, with more rumors swirling that Owens’ notoriously aggressive agent Drew Rosenhaus has been spotted on the sidelines of the New England Patriots, speculation has been fueled that the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver could join MVP QB Tom Brady in time for a playoff run.
But when hasn’t Owens — be it about a Sharpie, reality TV shows, alleged suicide attempt or indecent halftime skits — been in the news since his 1996 draft by the San Francisco 49ers? In early November, Owens was tagged with a bench warrant for failure to pay child support for one of his four children. Owens claimed he wasn’t ducking support payment, but instead was holding an open tryout for NFL teams that might want to sign the 38-year-old veteran who had knee surgery after his last season with the Bengals in 2010.
Drama has always been a big part of Owens’ game and personality, so it figures that the receiver’s ambition to return to the game is garnering lots of headlines, alongside his equally high-profile life in luxury real estate. That includes a recently reported monster price drop for the condo Owens owns in the pro athlete-friendly Azure high rise in Dallas, where Owens’ luxury custom residence is reported to be under contract via a bank short sale.
Owens was unexpectedly let loose by the Cowboys after his three-year deal ended in 2008, leaving him with not one, but two condos in the Azure. Owens also has a smaller, 880-sq ft unit in the Azure and has seen its price cut to $279K from its original asking price of $350K.
Listing agent Maya Baker of Seville Real Estate in Dallas minces no words on this listing: “Bring All offers! Need Quick Sale! Beautiful 1BR, 1.5BA, single story condo located on the third floor. Unit includes 1-car garage, storage space and terrace with outdoor gas fireplace!”
But it’s the apparent short sale of Owens’ larger, 20th-floor custom residence reported by Dallas real estate blogger Candy Evans that is begging some Dallas real estate mavens to ask how could a player who has made tens of millions lose so much money, so fast?
Owens’ 3-bedroom, 4.5-bath unit at the Azure was first listed for sale at $2.250 million, but is now down to $1.6 million after the most current $95K price cut. Real estate insiders say the deal is a short sale and are surprised that, if the unit sells for $1.6 million or less, it will bring down the sq-ft price average for this luxury tower, where some units top out at over $700 per sq ft.
Owens’ unit is top of the line and comes with:
- 6-car garage and 2 storage spaces
- 3 outdoor terraces with gas fireplaces
- View of downtown Dallas
- 10-ft ceilings in most living areas
- Kitchen with built-in Sub-Zero fridge, Miele gas cooktop and double ovens
- Master suite with his-and-her separate bath and closets, sitting area and private outdoor terrace with gas fireplace.
Meanwhile, the verbose and emotionally high-charged Owens is not without a place to call home. He still maintains a monster crib in the Lithonia real estate market outside of Atlanta, which was featured on MTV Cribs and in other celebrity real estate listings. TV news host Stone Philips interviewed Owens there in 2004, and lured the sculpted Owens into a game of catch in the gleaming gym Owens built on the property.
Last year, Owens was able to sell the Moorestown, NJ manse he picked up during his days with the Philadelphia Eagles. While in Buffalo with the Bills for the 2009 season, Owens avoided buying a home, but still managed to drum up a media scrum after a house he tried to rent in the Orchard Park, NY real estate market was denied to him because the home’s owner was leery of too much drama.
Now Owens is looking for a new town to call home, or to pad his Hall of Fame stats. Surgery and the NFL lockout have hampered Owens’ chances of hooking up with another team. But the irrepressible Mr. Owens will not let his well-earned legacy of selfishness and for being a sideline distraction stop him from the hunt for another shot at the end zone — and another ZIP code.