Should the New England Patriots Take a Flyer on Terrell Owens?

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Should the New England Patriots Take a Flyer on Terrell Owens?
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Just when it seemed like Terrell Owens was done making headlines in the NFL for good, a sports journalist from a prominent newspaper wrote a column suggesting that the 39-year-old wide receiver should "get a look" from the New England Patriots. 

That sports journalist was Gary Washburn, and the prominent newspaper was The Boston Globe.

Here's the excerpt from his column that summarized his main thought:

In a pass-crazy league that’s desperate for quality receivers, it’s rather embarrassing that T.O. isn’t receiving at least a workout. The Patriots need help and Owens needs a job.

Pretty simple. 

From Washburn's article, Owens said: 

Obviously the situation with the Patriots, they are starting out with a lot of new guys. You never know how management is thinking, what their process is as far as bringing in veterans.

I understand they may look at my age as an issue but I’m not your average 39-year-old. I think if you watch me work out, I’m not really concerned about injuries or anything like that. Plus, I’ll be getting paid the vet minimum, so it’s not like I am asking for any extra incentive in my contract.

I just want to play because I know I’m still competitive. I can play at a productive level.

Are Washburn and Owens on to something? 

Well, here's a look at New England's pass-catching contingent heading into Week 3:

Patriots Pass-Catchers in 2013
Targets Receptions Yards YPC Catch Percentage
Julian Edelman 27 20 157 7.9 74.1
Danny Amendola 14 10 104 10.4 71.4
Shane Vereen 10 7 58 8.3 70
Kenbrell Thompkins 21 6 89 14.8 28.5
Aaron Dobson 10 3 56 18.7 30

ESPN

Vereen was placed on IR with a designation to return after the season-opening win against the Buffalo Bills, which means he isn't eligible to play until the Patriots come off the bye in Week 11.

Amendola is dealing with a groin injury but may be back in a few weeks instead of a few months:

Michael Whitmer of The Boston Globe, who cited a league source, added the following:

Gronkowski is healthy enough to play, but the Patriots want to get him more practice time before suiting him up in a game. For that reason, the source said, the Patriots are leaning toward keeping Gronkowski out of Sunday’s home game with the Buccaneers.

In a few weeks, Tom Brady could have Amendola and Gronkowski at his disposal, which should boost the team's offensive efficiency.

However, working out Owens wouldn't hurt what's become a dire situation at receiver. 

We aren't sure how long it will take Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson—currently the team's two boundary wideouts—to consistently run the proper routes and establish proper timing with Brady. 

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

It would likely take Owens some time to do the same if signed, but from a physical and route-running standpoint, he's a better option than either of the two rookies at this stage in their careers. 

Per a Pro Football Talk report published on September 11, the Patriots were one of a handful of teams that contacted Brandon Lloyd about playing football this season, and their request was denied.

According to the report, "Lloyd has no interest in playing, taking the position that he’s neither physically nor mentally ready to continue."

If New England was desperate enough to reach out to Lloyd, there's no reason Terrell Owens shouldn't be brought in for a workout. 

He's always in football shape and could be the perimeter chain-mover—with some downfield speed—the Patriots need to get their offense back on track. 

 

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