While I was sitting back on Sunday afternoon this week, two quick thoughts had come to mind. The first, was irritation, irritation with the fact that the receiving group on the Raiders is just god awful. Seriously, while listening to the broadcast via Radio, Greg Papa was screaming, "Dropped Pass", all afternoon (Thanks DHB for deflecting the ball, turning into an interception). The second thing I noticed, was that Buffalo fell to the newly revitalized Titans (Surprising much?) 41-17. Terrell Owens only had three catches for eighty five yards, so it got me thinking, putting the two together and having a interesting theory.
Even the most die hard Raider Fans won't deny the fact that Oakland's depressing offense this year has been hurt by JaMarcus Russell, but also the people he has the option of throwing to (well, when Tom Cable isn't too scared to call a passing play). Zach Miller (once again) is the leading receiver for the Raiders, coming in at four hundred thirty yards. Meh. Let's check the stats of those two rookies who've played 10 games, shall we? Well, Louis Murphy has had 16 receptions for 232 yards, not that...good. Our amazing first round draft pick, our savior, Darrius Heyward-Bey, has caught a whopping...6 catches for 96 yards. Yeah, that's going to be a problem.
While in Buffalo, the star studded off-season pick up, hasn't amounted to much. Though clearly, the Bills aren't a good team and wern't playoff bound, Terrell hasn't done much to help either. After 10 games this year, he's caught only 26 receptions and 366 yards (One touchdown, just one TD celebration huh?), which isn't even as good as his rookie numbers in 1996 (35 rec, 520 yards). When pressed by the media in his post game conference Sunday, one quote stood out most to me, "Well according to you, I'am washed up and everybody else. I pay no mind to it, I just go out and play". STOP right here, and try to follow where i'am going with this. You can consider his current status in Buffalo as a result of multiple reasons. Two of which, are a little basic to me would be; 1. He's a good player that's in decline, because of his age and work ethic or 2. He's a good player, that can still put up good results, depending on the team surrounding him. What's your opinion on his year with the Bills?
To me at least, I chose the latter in thinking his lack of production so far has been the Buffalo Bills just being a bad team (Trent Edwards is surely not Tony Romo) with far many more problems that him being him bothered every week. In that quote, however, is where in turn I see Terrell Owens as a perfect fit; a player that has found himself against the very news outlets that once praised him. If that doesn't speak of a Silver and Black mentality, I'am not sure what does. He could come next year and be right at home in an atmosphere that already is against a conformist ESPN lifestyle. But i'll follow that with the reasons why I think it could work.
First, Al Davis has a long established history of taking chances on older players that won't be given much consideration elsewhere. There's been many times when its payed off (Jerry Rice, Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon, Ted Hendricks, etc.) and sadly, recent times where it's failed (Warren Sapp, DeAngelo Hall, Daunte Culpepper all gave horrible results for their asking prices). Considering our receivers are still just rookies, Terrell could give a much needed legit option to whoever is throwing to him. If we give him a competent QB (whether it's a off-season pickup or new draftee) he definitely is known for producing. Critics point to his off the field antics (Ex. "Give me the ball") but it seems to me his current season, took him from playoff team to awful team, humbling his attitude in the process. Honestly, could we do much better?
Second would be the cost of bringing him in. Where previous players Oakland have asked for costly contracts, I believe the former pro bowler wouldn't be asking a lot to keep his career active. If his one year contract for 6.1 million from the Bills is any indication, than I think Owens will actually have less value next year. His stats don't cause teams to jump for excitement, nor does his troubled history of stunts. Of course, the Raiders are a franchise that will have no problem with either of those problems. Signing him to another one year deal could be a smart move for Al Davis, as long as it's just ONE year, and not multiple that would hurt us speaking long term if the experiment doesn't pan out (Such as, signing a mediocre d-lineman to a 50 million. seven year deal. Thanks Tommy Kelly, you're great). A worthy investment, or just another throwing caution to the wind?
In the Raider Nation, it's pretty hard these days to be optimistic about much. The inept offense takes away the spirits of fans, and the consistent below .500 season records are draining blood out of the franchise. Every year, we're going to hope something comes along to blow wind around the bay area waters, and steer the ship into the right direction. While most people will dismiss the article as wishful thinking, or downright ignorance, part of me feels it wouldn't be the worst thing to take a chance on this player in 2010. Just remember, it wasn't so long ago that Terrell Owens had a 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns back in 08'. Is he still a afterthought, or could we find a player that wants to go out on top?