It's been over two seasons since Owens last stepped on a football field for meaningful football. He caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. Those were solid numbers, but that was also 2010. Now Owens is 39 years old, coming off last season, when cut by the Seattle Seahawks. He had trouble simply catching the ball. The Seahawks gave him as many chances as possible, but Owens simply looked bad.
Now there's no getting around the fact the Patriots are thin at wideout. Behind Danny Amendola, they've got Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Matthew Slater. That's a pretty awful group of NFL receivers, sans Amendola.
What would Owens bring that's any different, though? Just because your core of receivers isn't good doesn't mean you should bring on another average player. At this point in his career, you're not gonna see Owens blow by anybody.
He always managed to keep himself in peak physical condition, so his age is a bit deceiving. Still, though, how much does Owens really have left in the tank? He's not gonna be effective over the middle if he's steps behind the secondary.
Didn't New England already try taking a flier on a veteran receiver before? It signed Chad Johnson prior to the 2011 season. The move wasn't successful, with Johnson only recording 15 receptions for 276 yards and a touchdown. He was just wasn't his same boastful, confident self.
It's not like Bill Belichick would let Owens get away with anything that Johnson didn't. T.O. can talk all he wants about how he's changed as a person and is willing to take a lesser role, but that hasn't shown up in the numbers.
In that season with the Bengals, he had 139 targets, which also led the team. Owens has always been his team's top target. Not one to shy away from speaking his mind, how long would it be until Owens complains about his role on the team when Brady isn't targeting his team enough.
Oh, and by the way, that 2010 Bengals team finished 4-12.
While T.O. was a better receiver than Johnson in the two players' respective primes, Owens is also six years older than Johnson was when he signed for the Patriots.
Much like every great athlete, Owens is having a hard time letting his career go. The Patriots don't need to give him any charity.