The recent release of Terrell Owens, a questionable Hall of Fame wide receiver, sent waves throughout much of Cowboy nation, and now Dallas seems ready to dethrone the Pittsburgh Steelers and reclaim their title as "America's Team."
We all know why the Cowboys released Owens, his childlike feud with boy wonder quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, his immature ability to deal with offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's play calls (or lack thereof), and don't forget the trade for former Lions wide out Roy Williams, who would undoubtedly steal more receptions from T.O.
Buyer beware: Owens is now looking to sign with the fourth team of his infamous career.
Will a team in need of an offensive play maker, such as the Minnesota Vikings, Baltimore Ravens, New York Giants, or, dare I say, the Philadelphia Eagles, step up to the plate and sign the polarizing superstar?
Which one of those teams will pick up Owens, and how much will they pay him?
America’s team will take a $9.675 million salary cap hit after dumping the 35-year-old Owens' contract, so it's a safe bet Owens may sign for the league minimum, but we doubt it.
No question, Owens wants to sign with a contender. The team who signs Owens must deal with his polarizing personality and unwillingness to become the No. 2 guy for any team.
The following slides depict what teams we feel Owens may be a good fit for, or at least will express interest in signing the over-the-hill, yet still productive, wide receiver.
Based purely on a team's need, and their closeness to a championship, our list is below.
1. Minnesota Vikings
2. New York Giants
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Philadelphia Eagles*
*Not covered in this article for reasons quite obvious. No way Owens returns to the City of Brotherly Love. His time with Donovan McNabb had them both playing in their only Super Bowl, but the off-the-field distraction was too much for either one of them to handle. Philadelphia doesn't want him there again.
Adrian Peterson—or as we like to call him, "Purple Jesus"—would love to have a play maker the likes of Terrell Owens lining up beside him up on the offensive side of the ball. Owens also never has had a running back the likes of Peterson before. Marian Barber is solid, but he doesn't strike fear in opposing defenses like Purple Jesus.
With an unproven quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson, calling the shots behind center, Owens would be able to push him around enough to where Jackson may just listen to what he has to say. The Vikings signed Sage Rosenfels, who's basically the same player as Jackson except he's slower, more consistent, and has started more games at QB. As a Houston Texan, Rosenfels split time with Matt Schaub for most of last season.
If the Vikings sign Owens, they would instantly be front runners, not just in the pathetic NFC North, but also legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Vikings won the division last year only to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles. With Peterson and Owens on the same team, the chances to run a Peyton Manning-like play action may be too much for both the Vikings management and Owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus to pass up.
As longtime Lions fans, we hope the Vikings don't pick up Owens, but if Owens wants to sign with a legit contender, we see no NFL team better prepared for a Super Bowl run than the purple people eaters.
Should the New York Giants opt not to bring up Plaxico Burress next season, the points made here may be moot. It's unclear whether they would even entertain Owens joining the club if Eli Manning's go-to guy returns, so we'll just assume he's not returning.
Without Plax last season, Manning threw zero touchdowns to a wide receiver. Although the Giants earned a first round bye in the playoffs, much to the surprise of their fans, they were ousted by divisional rival Philadelphia.
After re-signing Brandon Jacobs to anchor the backfield, the Giants will need to improve their receiving corps, as Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, and Kevin Boss just aren't going to cut it for Manning.
Signing Owens gives the Giants instant offense and a guy for Manning to fall back on when he feel the pocket-pressure. But for the media attention whore that Owens is, playing in New York will make the media difficult even for whore-like. The criticism he'll receive from sports talk radio, tabloid newspapers, and other New York-based media will simply be nothing more than a distraction for the Giants and their hopes of returning to the Super Bowl.
Both Plax and/or T.O. are going to be major distractions, but the work ethic of Owens in practice may help stabilize the locker room, while Burress already has the support of many of his former teammates.
Behind rookie quarterback Mr. Joe "Cool" Flacco and an inspiring defense, the Baltimore Ravens were one game away from returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2000.
With a one-two punch of Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain, the addition of Terrell Owens to the roster may put the Ravens over the hump.
Strange as it sounds, the only problem is Flacco. He's cool under pressure and made very few mistakes during the Ravens' playoff run. But with Owens' reputation of corrupting his quarterbacks and impacting their play, Flacco may not feel Owens is the guy that will excel his career.
As much as the Ravens need a big-time wide receiver to accompany an underrated Derick Mason, we don't see them signing Owens. A few years back before Owens signed with Dallas, rumors circulated that he was on his way to Baltimore. The problem was, Owens didn't want to play for them. Now that the Ravens are back, Owens has a change of heart. Sure, the guy just wants to win, but at what cost to his teammates?