Hey Raider Nation!
As of yet, Al Davis has been surprisingly quiet. To me it's been somewhat refreshing to see Davis and Co. not jump at the slightest opportunity to splash some cash.
BUT...as we all know, the Raiders struggled with the passing game last season (to put it lightly!) and we desperately need a weapon in the receiving game.
So this is the move Al Davis should pull the trigger on with the Raiders' first free agent acquisition of this offseason....the mercurial TERRELL OWENS.
With both Anquan Boldin and Antonio Bryant off the market, I see almost no reason why we aren't desperately trying to snap up T.O. before Mr. Ochocinco has his way and gets Cincinnati to offer him a contract.
The Raiders' pass offense last season was horrible as we all know. We came in 29th in passing yards/game (159.8) and 31st in points/game (12.3). The QB situation was far from ideal but let's focus on the WRs at the moment...
Let's first take a look at what the Oakland Raiders' WRs did in 09...
- Johnnie Lee Higgins: three years experience, 19 receptions, 263 yards, 0 TDs
- Chaz Schilens: two years experience, 29 receptions, 365 yards, 2 TDs
- Todd Watkins: three years experience, 8 receptions, 90 yards, 0 TDs
- Darrius Heyward Bey: one year experience, 9 receptions, 124 yards, 1 TD
- Louis Murphy: one year experience, 34 receptions, 521 yards, 4 TDs
- Nick Miller: one year experience, placed on IR without appearing in a game.
- Javon Walker: .....
Along with these guys, the following WRs are on the Raiders roster:
- Yamon Figurs: four years experience, 3 career receptions, 86 yards, 1 TD (more a return guy)
- Paul Hubbard: one year experience, 0 career receptions.
- Shaun Bodiford: two years experience, 1 career reception, 13 yards, 0 TDs.
If you're gonna tell me that list of WRs is gonna get the job done in 2010 then you gotta be crazy!
I've discussed the move for T.O. with my brother who, like myself, bleeds silver and black, and he hates the idea. And to be honest, I agreed with him until a few days ago. When I thought about the idea a bit more, however, I had a change of heart.
Here's why, and it's pretty simple...he PRODUCES.
T.O's '09 stats: 55 receptions, 829 yards, 5 TDs. What's more, he played 16 games and averaged 15.1 yards/catch.
Sure, his stats last season were by no means Earth-shattering, but they surpassed, by quite some margin, what any other Raider WR achieved. Despite having to deal with the poor state of affairs, football-wise, in Buffalo, T.O. produced and didn't run his mouth or complain—he did what he had to do.
For those that think this is just as bad an idea as the Javon Walker move was (thankfully that fiasco is now over), you are wrong!
Walker had numerous knee surgeries and was signed to the Raiders on a six year, $55 million contract (it pains me to write that!), having started only five games the previous season in Denver, catching 26 balls for 287 yards and zero TDs.
Owens, on the contrary, is a physical specimen and has only featured in less than 14 games ONCE in his 14 seasons in the NFL. Owens isn't going to be a down-the-field threat with his increasing years, but clearly feels he has something left in the tank, otherwise he wouldn't be looking for a job...
If Al Davis can sign T.O. for a reasonable sum of money, I see absolutely no reason why we should not make the move. Oakland needs to breathe some life into this offense, and the proven production of T.O. may be just the ingredient that this team needs to regain the swagger it's been missing since the days of Gannon and Tim Brown/Jerry Rice.
What does the rest of the nation think?