T.O.: “I'm Leaving America's Team for North America's Team”

Brit Milazzo@@M11azzoCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2009

ORCHARD PARK, NY - 2009:  Terrell Owens of the Buffalo Bills poses for his 2009 NFL headshot at photo day in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by NFL Photos)
NFL Photos/Getty Images

On March 7, wide receiver Terrell Owens agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Buffalo Bills.


While his prior time with Dallas, Philadelphia and San Francisco all ended badly, Owens is a major upgrade for a Bills team that is known for their lack of offensive power.


“I know I’ll help this organization out and I’m looking forward to putting some points on the board,” Owens said at a press conference. “That’s what I’ve done everywhere I’ve been and its gonna continue. No matter what uniform I put on, I perform.”


Owens, 35, caught 69 passes for 1,052-yards and 10 touchdowns last season with Dallas, but the Cowboys were looking to improve the atmosphere in the locker room and decided they would be better off without him.

“I must move on and this is another new beginning for me,” Owens said. “So, I’m just looking forward to this opportunity.”

The Bills will be Owens' fourth stop. He started with San Francisco, bounced to Philadelphia—where he helped the Eagles get to a Super Bowl—and then to Dallas.

The Bills were in need of a receiver to take the pressure off Lee Evans and got one of the biggest names out there.

"We all know of his tremendous ability and look forward to what he will bring to our offense," Bills owner Ralph Wilson said. "This is a very exciting day for the Buffalo Bills."

Owens, a six-time Pro Bowler, is among the NFL's career leaders in catches, yards and touchdowns. In the last three-years, his 38 touchdowns are one more than Randy Moss and he's among the league's best in catches, yards, yards per catch and yards per game.

He's coming off his ninth 1,000-yard receiving season in the last 11-years.

"We got one of the premier play makers in a play makers' league," Bills chief operating officer Russ Brandon said.

For the Bills, the signing is their biggest splash since acquiring quarterback Drew Bledsoe in a trade in 2002. Team officials flew to Miami, flew back to Buffalo with Owens and agent Drew Rosenhaus and signed the deal in the late afternoon at Bills headquarters.

"'Wow!' was my first reaction," Wide Reciever Lee Evans said. "I know we were looking at some different receivers out there. When the Cowboys cut him, I didn't know if we were going to make the move for him or not. We did and it worked out. I'm very excited for everybody."

The question now is how T.O. will deal with quarterback Trent Edwards, who is only entering his second full year as starter?

Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo all had dicey relationships with Owens.

Edwards isn't nearly as accomplished, as any of those players and the Bills' offense has been abysmal in recent years.

"I am really excited about the addition of Terrell Owens to our team," Edwards said. "We spoke earlier and both look forward to working hard this off-season. We share the common goal of winning football games. His ability and experience will add to our offense and the weapons we already have."

The Bills were 25th in the NFL in yards gained and failed to have a 300-yard passer.

Buffalo has ranked 25th or lower in each of the past six seasons in total offense.

“I will say this: It’s an opportunity I saw on how the Bills started this season out last year and they made some eyes open,” Owens said. “So, if I can be that extra added piece to the puzzle to get them to the playoffs and make something happen, then that’s what I’m here for.”

Head coach Dick Jauron has often complained about the Bills' lack of scoring punch, but this represents a serious change in philosophy for a team that in the past has tried to avoid taking on disruptive locker room personalities.

Owens isn't worried about his perceived selfishness in Dallas.

"That's all hearsay," Owens said. "If you look at all the comments coming from my teammates with the Cowboys the last three years, it's all been positive. Prior to that, I really don't want to get into it."

Owens becomes the Bills' fourth free agent addition this offseason.

Buffalo has also signed cornerback, Drayton Florence; backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick and former Panthers offensive lineman, Geoff Hangartner.

Sources: Press conference. Click here for video http://www.buffalobills.com/media-lounge/videos/terrell-owens-press-conference/fda2caed-5f92-4a0a-82d4-3a9c5cbe5a94

Britney Milazzo is a Contributor for Bleacher Report. 


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