2010 NFL Free Agents: Terrell Owens' Top-Five Destinations; A Patriot?
Terrell Owens loves the spotlight. He wants attention more than a toddler.
And for some reason, the media keeps giving it to him.
As the NFL offseason rolls on and the summer sports doldrums are in full effect, writers like myself need something to write about. So why not analyze Owens, whose ego is bigger than anyone not named LeBron James?
Maybe T.O. can join the Heat, too.
Last season, when No. 81 didn’t look like he would have a home, the Buffalo Bills came out of the woodwork to the Tennessee-Chattanooga alum. Experts expected that like mothers expect pregnancy.
Shocked, yet optimistic.
Owens could easily go to a random team, and there are five squads that have a good place to put him. Obviously, these may not be the most likely five teams to grab the 15-year veteran, but with T.O., these teams could make a bigger splash than Shamu.
Meet Terrell Owens
Owens’ 2009-2010 Stats: 55 recs, 829 yards, five rec TDs
Okay, those numbers don’t scream “elite receiver,” but there’s promise in the veteran yet.
However, that “promise” is a glimmer of hope slimmer than Kate Moss’ waistline.
Over the past few seasons, Owens’ productivity has dropped. Catches, yards per catch, and touchdowns have declined, while drops and frustration have increased.
If any other professional had that kind of run, they’d be fired faster than Enron’s CEO.
But let’s give the man some credit. Performing at Pro Bowl level with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards throwing to you is harder than getting the Clippers to the NBA Finals; so T.O.’s performance was not all his fault.
However, turtles have his kind of separation speed at this age, and his Dan Gilbert selfishness and childishness linger in the minds of teams as a huge negative on Owens.
So who’s signing up?
5) Tennessee Titans
As much of a risk as this is for my favorite NFL team, it’s a move that’s been a long time coming.
Last season, Titans quarterback and strip club enthusiast (but on Tennessee, who isn’t?) Vince Young had trouble trusting his wideouts. The team was in the bottom 10 in both receiving yards and touchdowns.
Sure, blame Young. But just remember the biggest reason for the low totals:
The Titans receiving core is raw. The squad may be high on Kenny Britt and Jared Cook, but they need someone to show them how to play the position.
Nate Washington is a bad choice to do it. Owens may not be.
Owens definitely has his own drop issues, but he was, at one point, a top-flight receiver. If he imparts some wisdom on Britt and simultaneously takes some of the double teams away from the second-year receiver, it will be a match made in heaven.
4) Chicago Bears
Yes, I know Mr. Cutler already dismissed the idea of allowing Owens to join the team.
But the quarterback should shut his mouth because this team could use him.
It’s been quite some time since the Bears have had a big-name receiver in town. They finished in the bottom half of the league in receptions and receiving yards, so an end-zone sniffer would be a great asset.
But don’t call him an end-zone sniffer. Sounds like a terrible job.
Owens would also provide a proven target for Cutler. While Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Devin Aromashodu are developing, their youth makes them as reliable as a Toyota Prius.
During a recall.
Those three guys will likely develop into solid NFL receivers, but until they can all show consistency, the Bears might as well get someone who they know can make plays. Cutler has a great arm and can easily get Owens back to Pro Bowl level.
3) Atlanta Falcons
Roddy White is a menace down the sidelines. He slices up defenses like a katana.
But outside of him, Matt Ryan has few options.
Sure, he can go to Michael Jenkins, who's as solid as jello. Or he can throw to Tony Gonzalez, who continues to lose step after step with age.
But imagine spreading the field with Owens on the other side. Atlanta would have the first smile on its face since before Joe Johnson stole their money.
Despite Owens' flaws, no defensive coordinator will ignore his presence on the field. That means fewer double teams and possibly weighted coverage away from White.
Sounds like Roddy’s dream.
2) New England Patriots
This is definitely the most rumored of the bunch.
And with the mind of Bill Belichick, rightfully so.
If this had been five years ago, the idea of putting Randy Moss and Owens on opposite sides of Tom Brady would have made New England wet itself.
In 2010, it’s simply a novelty.
The good news for Belichick is he isn’t looking for No. 1 or 2 guys. Moss and Wes Welker have those roles taken care of in spades.
Owens would likely be the receiver that opens up the middle for Welker’s short routes and draws tight coverage of Moss, who is primed for another strong year.
And if T.O. can’t catch passes from the Golden Boy, he should just retire.
1) Oakland Raiders
Welcome to Nnamdi Asomugha island, where receivers go to die.
Owens will probably be happy to not have to play against him, and a happy T.O. is a productive T.O.
Going to Oakland isn’t terrible for either side. Oakland was last in the league in receiving scores and in the bottom five in receptions and yards.
But that could be blamed on the human fat pile of JaMarcus Russell at quarterback.
The problem is the Raiders' top two receivers have only one season under their belts.
Darrius Heyward-Bey and Johnnie Lee Higgins don’t have a role model, and we sure as hell know Tom Cable won’t be showing them how to run routes anytime soon.
Or running in general. If Cable walks too fast, he starts dripping like John McCain in a sauna.
Check out more from Ross at LA Sports Examiner and follow him on Twitter at Rossel64.
Not only would Owens help Oakland, but he’d also become a primary target automatically. New signal caller Jason Campbell would love to see a veteran target on the field instead of two guys who probably still get carded at movie theaters.
Lastly, the Raiders have the wild card in Al Davis. He’s known for making impulsive and sometimes rash decisions, and T.O. fits that to a tee.
But then again, Davis’ behavior is so erratic, he could sign him and trade him four days later. So who knows?