The Seattle Seahawks decided to release Terrell Owens after three weeks, despite rave reviews about the veteran wide receiver's burst. He did show good speed in preseason action, but a high number of drops likely doomed him.
There are still some teams that would benefit from adding Owens, though. The 38-year-old wideout has proven he can still be productive player in the NFL if placed in the right situation. Perhaps one of these teams should throw him a career lifeline.
Steve Smith led the Panthers in catches last season with 79. The next-highest total belonged to running back Jonathan Stewart at 47. It's a situation that screams for a new second receiver, especially if Cam Newton continues to lead a wide-open offense.
The main reason Newton's numbers fell off in the second half of last season was teams placing a bigger focus on Smith. With his main target blanketed, the rookie quarterback wasn't able to find a similar connection with another wideout.
Owens still has the downfield ability to make himself useful with Newton's strong arm, and he would also help ensure that defenses can't key in on Smith. He would be a nice stopgap option until one of the team's younger receivers emerges.
Which of these teams would be the best fit for T.O.?
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden needs help. Breaking into the NFL is hard enough with a good group of receivers. Doing it with one of the worst groups in the league makes his job exponentially more difficult.
Greg Little has shown some potential, and taking Josh Gordon—a raw talent—in the supplemental draft was a risk that might pay off in the long run. As for now, the Browns are extremely weak at a crucial offensive position.
Owens would at least give Weeden a veteran wide receiver to lean on under pressure. Without one, it will be hard for the rookie to have any type of sustained success. He can't complete passes if his wideouts can't separate from defenders.
The story has remained the same in Houston for a couple years: Andre Johnson serving as the team's top receiver, but nobody stepping up to take the other starting spot. Kevin Walter has usually filled the role, but he's a subpar choice.
Being the sole game-changing receiver for the Texans may be one of the reasons Johnson has missed so much time due to injury over the past few seasons. After a while, all of those targets catch up with a player, even one in good physical condition like Johnson.
Owens would take some of that pressure away and finally give quarterback Matt Schaub somebody else who can be counted on to move the chains. It would be better than trying to go through another season with Walter trying to do it.