- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) - Terrell Owens would like to point out that he’s never been disciplined by the NFL for off-field conduct, unlike some of the league’s “golden boys.”

No team has yet to sign him as a free agent, and the polarizing receiver worries they’re swayed by the perception he’s a troublemaker. A perception he believes he disproved with his agreeable behavior in Buffalo during a disappointing season last year.

“There were a number of times where prior I probably would have reacted, said something I wasn’t supposed to say,” Owens told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I really had some restraint, very patient.”

Did any owners notice?

“It’s almost like I didn’t play last year,” he lamented.

Training camps open for veterans in about two weeks, but Owens sounded as though he may even prefer waiting to sign until after the start of the preseason. The 36-year-old promises he’ll make sure to be in excellent shape. And like many players he believes camp is too long, anyway.

“Anything can happen from now to the beginning of the season,” he said. “Injuries, anything, to where I may be brought in to help a team win.”

As long as he signs early enough “to get some rhythm, some chemistry, learn the offense, and develop that camaraderie with the guys.”

Owens is clearly sensitive to the coverage he receives in the media. He disputed talk that he’s making exorbitant salary demands.

“They’re always focused on what has happened earlier in my career,” he complained.

“It’s not like I can’t play,” Owens added. “There is some type of influence that they’re making in the minds of teams and owners and GMs.”

What happened earlier in his career _ in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas _ was that he too often said what he wasn’t supposed to. NFL executives are wary of players who might find trouble off the field as commissioner Roger Goodell has cracked down on misbehavior.

“If that’s the case,” Owens said, “then I definitely should be on somebody’s team.”

Sign T.O., improve your team’s image? In an offseason when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, maybe that doesn’t sound so far-fetched.

“Some of the golden boys that they kind of highlight throughout the course of the season, those are the guys that are getting in trouble,” Owens said. “Somehow I get lumped into those topics, which blows my mind.

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