Seahawks Signing of Terrell Owens Presents Minimal Risk, Big Potential Payoff

Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterAugust 7, 2012

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 24:  Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 24, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the Seattle Seahawks inking much-maligned wide receiver Terrell Owens to a one-year deal worth $1 million, they have provided themselves with a physical marvel of a receiver (albeit an aging one) who is on his absolute last chance in the National Football League.

While I understand concerns about what signing Owens might mean for a young Seahawks locker room, I can't find fault in head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider taking a chance on Owens.

After parting ways with Mike Williams earlier this offseason, they have brought in a bevy of older, supposedly washed-up receivers in an effort to bolster their receiving corps. From Antonio Bryant to Braylon Edwards to Terrell Owens, none of these players are a lock to make the final roster.

Indeed, Bryant has already been shown the door.

If Owens—or Edwards, for that matter—are any kind of locker room problem, they'll be shown the door in similar fashion, and the team will have invested hardly anything. 

Owens and Edwards will compete alongside Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler for snaps opposite oft-injured Sidney Rice. That's a great mix if you're any of Seattle's three quarterbacks trying to find guys in Darrell Bevell's West Coast offense. 

Owens especially is a classic flanker in the West Coast offense. Even at 38 years of age, he could be used much as he was when he first became a star in the league in San Francisco in Steve Mariucci's offense. He is still a physical marvel (he reportedly ran a sub-4.5 40-yard dash a few days ago) and should be able to acclimate to Bevell's offense in his sleep. 

As for potential off-field issues, yes, Owens flamed out spectacularly in the Indoor Football League. But he had zero issues in Buffalo or Cincinnati, his last two NFL stops. It's a good bet that his success continues in Seattle—and if it doesn't, there's little lost by cutting him.

Obviously, much will depend on what Owens shows on the field, both in practice and preseason games, but overall I think this is a great low-risk signing for the Seahawks that could end up paying off surprisingly well on the field in 2012.