Controversial star Terrell Owens has found a home much sooner than many would have anticipated. Yes, T.O. is going to be playing in the AFC East, but no, it won’t be under Bill Parcells, and no, he won’t be running routes with Randy Moss in New England.
Terrell Owens has signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills at a reported $6.5 million.
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Analyze this move in any way that you wish. Perhaps Buffalo wants a big time receiving target, and one that can put up numbers like Andre Reed did back during Buffalo’s Super Bowl days.
Maybe a hot 2008 start (that led to a late collapse) was why the Bills felt they had to do something to get over the hump. Maybe having Owens as a receiving weapon will help open up the running game, leading to a more potent and balanced offensive attack.
And it’s true, the Buffalo offense hasn’t been an attack in any way in recent years, but instead more of a gentle breeze.
But the truth of the matter is this: The Buffalo Bills signed Owens for one reason and one reason alone…MONEY.
Greenbacks, cash, dollars, bucks… and most ironic of all… BILLS.
As dramatic as T.O. is, there’s one thing that he does, and that’s put butts in the seats, fans in front of the TV, and media members busting down the doors of wherever he is—in this case, Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Plain and simple, the media follows Owens like a little lost puppy.
And when was the last time we really saw a media circus in Buffalo? It’s been a while, and while the fan base still has a deep-rooted love for this team, quite frankly, the Buffalo Bills just haven’t been interesting for years.
And in a matter of minutes, the Bills go from “watching paint dry” to a blockbuster movie. The Bills are interesting again, and with interest comes value. And let’s face it, the value in Buffalo isn’t among the NFL’s elite.
Look at the facts. In a September 2008 article on Forbes.com that discussed NFL team valuations, the Buffalo Bills were ranked 27th in the league. In fact, compare the Bills team value of $885 million to that of the Dallas Cowboys, who were listed at $1.6 billion.
The piece goes on to discuss how Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. has been “crying poverty for years and has stated that the team will be sold after he dies”.
In fact, many will recall that the Bills held a home game in Toronto last season, looking for another way to find more fans and make more money. Going forward, the Bills will play seven more games in Toronto, making that eight total over a five-year span.
So far, the Canadians have flocked to sneak a peak at American football, and Forbes stated that “demand for the pricey tickets has been strong, and the Bills will make more money than had the games been played in Ralph Wilson Stadium”.
Even with the recent success in Toronto, it’s quite likely that in the recent economy, Ralph Wilson Jr. felt his pockets shrink, his checkbook disintegrate, and his favorite pen run out of ink. So, it isn’t difficult to imagine this Buffalo franchise looking for other clever ways to make a buck.
Enter Owens, recently released by the Cowboys. As a one-year deal (and a fairl
y cheap one at that), T.O. is actually a low-risk, high reward sign. Seriously, he is. Think about it.
While Owens eventually ends up as a clubhouse cancer, year one with his new team is usually borderline smooth sailing, because T.O. is eager to prove his former team and his critics wrong.
Therefore, Ralph Wilson Jr. should be applauded for this move. He brings in a player who could not only earn his franchise some extra cash, but also put Buffalo back into the playoff picture again.
Love Owens or hate him—and it’s likely that most lean towards the latter—he makes a team relevant and newsworthy.
Fork out some “BILLS” and “get your popcorn ready," the Buffalo Bills are about to get interesting again.