Yesterday, Terrell Owens signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Terrell Owens certainly needed a team and Seattle could definitely use a strong wide receiver, but there are reasons that this marriage may not succeed.
Why Seattle is a Bad Move For Owens
Owens deserves a shot in the NFL, but there is not much for him in Seattle. At this stage in his career, Owens should be seeking the best opportunity possible for a significant playoff run. Seattle, with a plethora of young, unproven quarterbacks, most likely is not that kind of a team. He may have taken this spot because he had doubt that another team would give him an opportunity, but there is reason to believe injury or need would open opportunities on contenders.
A good candidate for his services may have been a team like New England. People may argue that they tried that experiment with Chad Johnson with limited results, but Owens is a different player altogether. He is more reliable, a better route runner and has experience learning new offensive systems and adapting on the fly. Owens has never played with a quarterback of Brady’s caliber, and with Welker and Gronkowski catching their share, Owens would have an opportunity to make a difference.
Similarly, the Denver Broncos would have been an interesting landing spot for Owens. The offense is taking a completely different approach with Manning under center. This is likely going to become a pass-oriented offense and Owens would have been a strong addition to Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, two young wide receivers that could benefit from spread out defenses and a veteran mentor. Both Denver and New England have elite quarterbacks that Owens would have to respect and would likely love to work with.
Both of these offenses have an opportunity to get Owens the ring he covets. Chances are his off-field reputation and injuries would have dissuaded them from ever pursuing him, but Seattle may be the weakest passing attack in its division and offers little opportunity to reach for a ring. That is not to say that he could have landed with a top-level team, but Seattle may be one of the worst opportunities for a veteran receiver in the NFL.
Why Owens is a Bad Move for Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks are undeniably in a period of rebuilding. They have three young quarterbacks, none of which are proven to this point. They have a stud running back in Marshawn Lynch, but little else to be excited about on offense.
Seattle has several young wide receivers in Deon Butler, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette whose development may be stunted by Terrell Owens taking targets away. Of course, a veteran leader would be a positive for developing players, but without the opportunity for the team to succeed, the best scenario for young receivers would be to have as many game-time opportunities to catch passes as possible.
Why Seattle would make this move is a mystery.
Perhaps they believe that Owens will offer their young quarterbacks a strong, viable receiving threat. The problem is that T.O. will only be on the team for another year or two and the Seahawks need to determine who will be their starting quarterback and they need chemistry to develop between whomever they select and their young receivers. With little shot at the playoffs, all this move does is hinder the rebuilding process.
The Perception of Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens should be in the NFL.
He has always been a productive player whose bad reputation has left owners and coaches reluctant to bring him on board their team. Ultimately, his antics declined greatly after he left Philadelphia and his history over the last few years should be put into context.
After 1997, Owens recorded more than 1,000 yards in nine of 11 seasons, a streak that ended when he went to Buffalo without a legitimate threat on the other side of the field. Remarkably, you heard little from him in terms of calling out his quarterback or coaches. The next season, T.O. partnered up with Chad Johnson in what should have been a dream pairing for quarterback Carson Palmer. It was not. Despite T.O. catching for 983 yards, the team under-achieved, finishing with a 4-12 record. During this run, Owens caught for just under 1,000 yards and the recent lack of production from Palmer and Johnson may have revealed that Owens was not to blame for the lack of success in Cincinnati.
This offseason, a majority of NFL teams have seemingly avoided Owens.
Analysts, fans and even his Arena Football League coach have admitted that he can play the game and has kept himself in great shape, but questions linger about his personality outside the lines. His former coach, Drew Pearson, stated “Terrell embraced [his role] initially with tremendous enthusiasm. He was a model citizen and did everything right, but throughout the season, that enthusiasm continually deteriorated.” People may be making too much of this.
Owens took a step down, as much of a demotion as a professional football player can take. According to the above quote by the coach, Owens began this process optimistically. Owens deserves credit for this and people should acknowledge that a truly arrogant and pretentious individual would possess an ego that would not allow them to take such a step down. He likely did not expect to be there as long as he was and if we are all honest, anyone who took a demotion in any field of work would get tired of it after a while. He deserves to be in the league and should not be scorned for believing that.
Terrell Owens can still be a productive player in the NFL and could give a team with a strong offense a chance to move forward. There are also some (including the author of this article) who would like to see Owens redeem himself in the eyes of the public and find a significant measure of success. It just does not appear that Seattle will be the team to make that happen.