Seattle Seahawks Are Making a Huge Mistake by Signing Terrell Owens

Michael Schottey@SchotteyNFL 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

While it looks like a low-risk signing, the Seattle Seahawks are making a huge mistake by signing Terrell Owens.

News broke late on Monday that John Schneider and Pete Carroll have continued their veteran receiver collection by signing the 38-year-old Owens. This after Owens vehemently denied the "rumor" on Twitter and after he ran a blazing-fast sub-4.5 40-yard dash.

The old proverb says: "Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas," and the Seahawks plan on putting that maxim to the ultimate test pairing Owens with troubled stars like Marshawn Lynch, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr.

Financially, this looks like a low-risk move. Contract guru site Spotrac has the breakdown of Owens' deal:

That's the veteran minimum and a cap hit that is very easy to rationalize for a player who is one of the best receivers most NFL fans have ever seen. It's important to remember that Owens didn't have the best situation in Cincinnati with an average passer like Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco to both steal targets and provide negative peer interaction.

Still, for as negative as Cincinnati was for Owens, he scored nine touchdowns, which is something the Seahawks are hoping he will bring to the Pacific Northwest.

When you sign Terrell Owens the wide receiver, though, you also have to sign Terrell Owens the person. Owens didn't even play football in 2011 as a result of knee injuries and teams being sick of his shtick.

This is the same Owens who "diva'd" his way off of the Allen Wranglers, an indoor football team. The Wranglers—no relation to Brett Favre's jean of choice—had every reason to bend over backward for Owens. At his worst, Owens is a better player than the has-beens and never-weres of the Indoor Football League.

They even gave him an ownership stake in the team! Somehow, someway, Owens was able to mess even that up.

This is the same Owens who is so far in debt, he is facing possible jail time. Yes, Owens, who has made over $80 million in his career, can't manage to pay for the children he's had with multiple women. Those women had to take him to Dr. Phil just to hopefully get through to him. Proof that his actions in his personal life are just as dysfunctional and immature as his antics on the football field.

The Seahawks are putting the same Owens in their locker room that has torn apart numerous locker rooms in the past. If Skip Bayless is only right about one thing, it is the "Team Obliterator" nickname that he's given Owens.

(Note: It is entirely possible that Bayless has only been right about one thing in his entire career.)

The Seahawks have a three-way competition for quarterback between Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson, and they've thrown Owens into the mix. He's a receiver known for throwing quarterbacks under the bus and killing their confidence both in the locker room and publicly to the media.

Think Flynn, Wilson and Jackson are immune to the same cancer that poisoned Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Tony Romo and others?

Sure, every year there is an apology tour, a group of players that remind us how "great" of a teammate Owens is and how his impact on the field outweighs any antics off of it.

Who am I going to believe? Them, or my lying eyes?

Owens has been on six teams in his NFL career. Six teams is five too many for a player of his caliber. Instead of helping the 49ers bridge the gap and being a cornerstone for them to build around, Owens forced his way out filing a legal grievance and heading to Philadelphia even after the 49ers had already traded him to Baltimore for a second-round pick. Owens followed his exit by calling Garcia a homosexual in Playboy magazine, which is ironic because Garcia is now married to a Playboy playmate.

In Philadelphia, Owens helped the Eagles get to the Super Bowl but then threw McNabb under the bus by calling him out for getting "tired" in the Super Bowl. Owens also decided he was a basketball player and attempted to play for the Sacramento Kings' summer league team. Eventually, money issues would lead to Owens being suspended and then jettisoned.

From Dallas to Buffalo, Cincinnati and now Seattle, teams have tried to convince themselves that they would be the ones to change Owens. Each team has hoped that they could benefit from his on-field performance without suffering from the drama Owens collects in his personal life and transfers to every locker room he's ever been in.

This is a huge gamble for the Seattle Seahawks, even if it makes a lot of sense financially. The Seahawks have built a solid defense with good young pieces and have an offense that could be good with a few more pieces.

Owens is not one of those pieces.

Pete Carroll has been a disappointment in his latest stint (just like every other stint) in the NFL. The Seahawks do not have the recruiting power of USC, and the NFC is not the Pac-12. Remember, even with the success at USC, Carroll didn't exactly have control of his program, as numerous sanctions hit the Trojans after he left (read: abandoned) the program.

Carroll is not the coach to control Owens, and the "best buds" routine simply isn't going to last.

@terrellowens welcome to the land of the #12thMan Terrell, see you in the morning... 8am meetings!!

— Pete Carroll (@PeteCarroll) August 7, 2012

Best-case scenario, realistically, for the Seahawks is that Owens re-injures his knee and is cut before any real damage is done to the Seattle locker room. Hopefully, no young players start looking up to or hanging out with Owens before then, and Owens keeps his mouth shut about them after he leaves.

Let me clarify: I'm not saying that I hope Owens gets hurt, or that Seahawks fans should root for it, but that it's the only "out" for the huge mistake they've made. If Owens plays any significant time for the Seahawks or spends any significant time with the team, they will be worse off for it.

Even in that scenario, however, the Seahawks have sent a clear message to their receiving corps that they are not good enough. Antonio Bryant (now cut), Edwards and Owens aren't having their tires kicked to sit on the bench behind Doug Baldwin and Ben Obomanu, and those guys know it.

So, while Seahawks fans and the front office will sell this as a no-risk move, history shows that there is no such thing when it comes to Owens. He has left teams in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati worse than he found them. He has left destruction in his wake and has never paid dividends on the investments teams made him him.

The Seahawks, regardless of how well Owens plays, will regret the day they made this huge mistake.


Michael Schottey is the NFL National Lead Writer for Bleacher Report and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff alongside other great writers at "The Go Route."


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