Why Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts Need To Sign Terrell Owens Immediately
It just needs to be done.
It won't, and the team will probably be fine in spite of another missed opportunity—but sometimes you need to step out of your comfort-zone and realize that life in the NFL doesn't have to be as hard as it might seem to be sometimes.
That is of course, if you're the Indianapolis Colts.
As we all know, the Colts were just minutes away from winning their second Super Bowl championship in the past four years.
If one were to be logical, you could argue that had Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzalez not been 100 percent absent from Super Bowl XLIV, the Colts would have been hoisting the Lombardi trophy again.
But unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game and the end result is what it is.
2009 AFC Champions—no Super Bowl.
As a Colts fan, to be quite honest, I'm fine with that.
Going 14-2, knowing that you would have been 16-0 had you tried, only to lose one game that you made an honest attempt to win is nothing to be ashamed of.
As a matter of fact, there are plenty of reasons to be quite proud.
Nevertheless, one cannot help but wonder what could have been had the Colts made a few moves that would have been to their benefit, in spite of what has clearly been fantastic work from their front office.
How do you criticize a team that has had so much success—especially in the front office aspect for which they have clearly revolutionized the franchise?
Scoring a 99 on a test doesn't mean that you weren't one point away from achieving your ultimate goal. If that goal is to win championships in this league, sometimes there is even more you could do despite already being successful.
Flashback to 2007 for a moment.
While the Packers failed to land their former division rival, the Patriots secured his services for a fourth round draft pick and in return paid Moss in peanuts for compensation.
Moss had waited years to have another shot at winning a Super Bowl.
Say what you will about the man, but he appeared to have no quarrels about being paid a bag of chips and a Coke so long as he had the opportunity to accomplish the one thing that had alluded him in his career.
And speaking of Super Bowls, there was a little known team from Indianapolis who had just come off winning their first one in over three decades; beating the Patriots along the way.
Surely they were not in need of another star wide receiver. After all, they already had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne—two of the most productive Pro Bowl receivers in the game.
I wasn't in the Colts front office, but my gut tells me that making a move to acquire Randy Moss was one of the last things on their agenda.
And why not?
They had other parts of the roster to attend to and perhaps saw little value in picking up yet another star to play a position they were already content with.
But maybe that's the problem.
Call it being politically correct from an NFL standpoint—it almost seems that out of principle, teams (outside of New England) refuse to fix "what ain't broken" even if adding further depth could contribute a great deal to their team's chances of winning.
Think to yourself for a moment how much of an impact Randy Moss would have had on the Colts’ chances of winning back in 2007.
Were the Raiders not interested in getting the most they could to compensate them for the loss of an investment gone bad?
Let me put it like this, do you really think that if the Colts had offered the Raiders their third round (98th overall) pick at the same time the Patriots offered the Raiders their fourth round (110th overall) pick, that the Raiders would have refused out of principle?
Do you really think that they would have declined a better offer?
So what exactly would the Colts had to have given up in exchange for acquiring Randy Moss' services?
Well, they drafted defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock with that third round selection; but what did he contribute to the Colts chances of winning during his one-year career?
18 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
And how about the "washed up has-been" that came out of Oakland.
What did he contribute to the Patriots chances of winning?
98 receptions for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Keep in mind, that's just during 2007.
250 receptions for 3,765 yards and 47 touchdowns during the past three seasons.
A deflated figure given that he had a quarterback who hadn't started a game since high school throwing him the ball for one-third of his time in New England.
So I flash back to 2007 and think to myself, why?
There was no question in my mind three years ago that Randy Moss was not only anything but washed up, but was one Hall of Fame quarterback away from "tearing the NFL up" as he once put it.
I knew that he would be a perfect fit in New England and all the credit to them for making the right move.
But how could such an acquisition have impacted the Colts?
Look back at the Colts' three losses during the 2007 regular season.
The first was a 24-21 loss to the Patriots, who were aided by Randy Moss' nine receptions, 145 yards and a touchdown.
The next was a 23-21 loss to the Chargers after Adam Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the game.
Manning threw a career-high six interceptions during the defeat but one has to keep in mind that he was throwing to Aaron Moorehead, Craphonso Thorpe, and Ben Utecht who were replacing the injured Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark.
Might a game that had already come down to the wire have had a different result had Peyton Manning been throwing to Randy Moss instead of Aaron Moorehead?
And their third defeat came in a 16-10 loss to the Titans in which most of the starters were pulled out after only three series'.
Would it be so unreasonable to assume that had Randy Moss been there to step up for an injured Marvin Harrison, that the Colts would have gone 16-0 as opposed to 13-3?
And guess who would have not gone 16-0 had there been no Randy Moss?
Tom Brady may have ended up throwing 35 touchdowns instead of 50 (not all that big of a stretch given that 23 of Brady's 50 ended up in Moss' hands).
Think to yourself how much better the Colts would have been had Randy Moss been there from 2007-2009?
And all it would have cost them is 18 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Granted you can never predict the future but to me, the decision would have been a no-brainer—even if we had other spots on the roster to address.
You simply don't pass on a future Hall of Fame player (and anyone who implies that Moss wasn't one prior to 2007 is just fooling themselves) when all it is going to cost you is a third or fourth round draft pick.
Now guess who could cost the Colts even less during this nice comfy "Cap-Free" era?
There is a player named Terrell Owens who is sitting at home right now, just waiting for the phone to ring and give him the opportunity to play football.
Do you think at this stage of his career, winning a Super Bowl might be something to motivate the future Hall of Famer?
But of course one has to consider the "risks."
What risks may I ask?
In Dallas he became a bit paranoid if you will, that Tony Romo was targeting Jason Witten in favor of him. Given that most receivers tend to think they're "open" even when they're covered, this should come as little surprise.
Yet why was this concern portrayed in a different light than it might be in other instances?
Because it's Terrell Owens?
I didn't see him holding a press conference, starting fights, or anything of that nature.
There may have even been some foundation to his concerns but that's neither here nor there.
The Cowboys ended up releasing him.
In Buffalo, there wasn't much to talk about—on or off the field.
He got signed to a bad team, played with unproductive quarterbacks and the end result was production on Owens' behalf that seems to pale in comparison to the work he's done for every other team he's been on.
Is it age?
Is he washed up?
But didn't something similar happen to Randy Moss in Oakland?
Didn't people say the same things about him back in 2007?
He didn't have good character—he was washed up, etc.
Yet the first year he was placed on a competitive team, he produces one of the greatest seasons in NFL history.
Yes, Terrell Owens is seven years older today than Randy Moss was back in 2007.
I'm not disputing the age factor, but it would be fair to mention that Owens was more productive in Buffalo in 2009 than Moss was in Oakland in 2006.
Terrell Owens might not be the best long-term investment, but you'd have to be crazy to think that he wouldn't be productive in Indianapolis.
I wouldn't be shocked to see him have an 80 reception, 1,300-yard, 13 touchdown season in Indy—not to mention the coverage he would command that would free things up for Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark and vice-versa.
Sure his inclusion in the Colts offense might impede the progression of Anthony Gonzalez, but this appears to be a situation where Anthony Gonzalez "could" be a productive Pro Bowl target where we know Terrell Owens "would" be a productive Pro Bowl target.
For a team that is already considered amongst many to be the best in the National Football League, why not at least be willing to consider how much better a player like Owens could make the team?
He could be the difference between winning another Super Bowl and losing in the first or second round of the playoffs.
It's not as though Anthony Gonzalez doesn't have experience working in the slot either—Owens would be a good match for the Colts system.
For the first time in Peyton Manning's career, he'd be throwing to a target already proven to be productive elsewhere.
There is just so much that Terrell Owens could do for the Colts' chances of winning, it's almost a bit deflating to know that the front office will not even consider the option.
We don't take players drafted elsewhere—we like to groom our own talent.
It's worked out well that way.
The Colts have won more games in a single decade than any team in NFL history, but one has to seriously sit back and think how many more championships could have been won had the time been taken to at least consider options that might not have necessarily fit the model of Indianapolis' front office approach.
Just think that because we've done things the "Indy way," we ended up with a defensive tackle who retired after one season while our most hated rival inherited the most productive touchdown machine in NFL history.
Another missed opportunity on the horizon?
It's not only inevitable, it's becoming a tradition.
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