The workout results left Seattle feeling compelled to give Owens a shot. But the immediate impact Owens made after signing a one-year deal Aug. 6 worked against him and facilitated his release Sunday.
Owens announced his release on Twitter. The team did not immediately confirm the news, but a source said earlier Sunday that Owens was expected to be released.
With Owens on the roster, another veteran wideout, 29-year-old Braylon Edwards, picked up his game noticeably. And when Owens struggled to get going in two preseason games, Seattle decided it had seen enough.
Owens and Edwards were competing to fill the role Mike Williams played in 2010, that of a big receiver to help move the chains and, ideally, factor in the red zone. Kris Durham, a draft choice in 2011, was targeted to fill that role. He has not made an impact, however, after returning from an injury suffered last season.
Seattle appeared unlikely to keep both Edwards and Owens. They were redundant, and neither was going to help on special teams.
Owens did make an impressive sideline grab for Seattle against Kansas City in the Seahawks' most recent exhibition game. But he also failed to make plays on other balls thrown his way. The deep ball he dropped from Matt Flynn a week earlier might linger as his defining play in a Seattle uniform.
It's unclear whether the Seahawks would consider re-signing Owens in the future. Veteran contracts become guaranteed once players are on the roster heading into Week 1. Bringing back Owens after that point would lessen the financial commitment.
NFL teams have until 4 p.m. Monday to reduce their rosters to 75 players. Ninety is the current limit. Teams then must reduce to 53 players by Friday.