After hearing today that the St. Louis Rams are attempting to sign the aging, mercurial Terrell Owens, I have one thing to say to the Rams: “Bravo.”
Once I heard the news, I immediately began running the pros and cons in my head of the Rams signing Terrell Owens.
I have come to the conclusion that the Rams should sign him, and feel thrilled to have him on their team.
While I think Owens would be a horrible fit on most teams in the NFL due to the fact that Owens is Owens, I believe the Rams are a special circumstance.
Now I know Owens has a well-deserved reputation for being a malcontent drama queen. The nickname Skip Bayless gave him says it all, “Team Obliterator.”
The destruction wrought upon the 49ers and the Eagles by Owens is legendary, and it is as much a part of the Terrell Owens legacy as his production on the field.
Owens has questioned Jeff Garcia’s sexual orientation, fought with Hugh Douglas in the Eagles training room, and screamed at offensive coordinators on the sideline during games.
And don’t get me started on him crying about his love for Tony Romo while with the Cowboys. Classy stuff all around.
To top this all off he is 36 years old...two years older than Denver Broncos Head Coach Josh McDaniels. Now that’s ancient by NFL standards, like Before Common Era ancient.
So having established that Owens is an ancient malcontent of a wide receiver, why on earth do I believe that not only should the Rams sign him, but also be thrilled to do so?
Because he can help them win games. And isn’t that what this is all about? Remember, you “Play to win the game!” Owens might be a bit crazy, but he is also a certain Hall of Famer with a legendary work ethic.
I also believe that Owens has become increasingly concerned for his legacy now that he has reached the twilight of his career.
So while Owens has always bashed quarterbacks off the field while making them better on it, I think he wants to change that image. And the best way to change that image is to be a model teammate.
So Owens still has the ability to produce decent numbers for the Rams while being motivated to not destroy team harmony.
Call me crazy, but I think that kind of T.O. would be a huge boost to new franchise quarterback Sam Bradford.
Having a security blanket on the field and a veteran presence in the film room like Owens would be huge for Bradford.
While many Terrell Owens haters would ask why the Rams would sign T.O., many of T.O.’s fans would ask the complete opposite, why would he a sign with a loser team like the Rams instead of a team like the Bengals?
There are many reasons why Owens should sign with the Rams over the Bengals, but the two reasons that I believe will be the most important to Owens is that he will have the chance to be the unquestioned lead receiver in a West Coast offense and that the Rams want him more.
The Rams need and want him because they have perhaps the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL and a rookie quarterback many expect to play immediately.
The last thing the Rams want to do is put Bradford in a situation where the only option is failing; stuff like that might make him a failure. Owens will at least give Bradford a fighting chance to make plays and a veteran presence to lean on in practice.
I can already imagine Owens begging Bradford to stay after practice with him to run routes and then texting him in the morning to meet him in the weight room.
Now an important aspect to this is that Owens has to understand that if he goes to the Rams it is to help them become respectable; they are not going to win a Super Bowl.
If Owens can accept that fact and be a good teammate and veteran presence for the Rams than he has a chance repair his legacy in the ninth inning of his career.
If Owens can help the Rams become respectable and get Bradford on a track where he fulfills his massive potential, Owens might not be known as the guy who bashed Garcia, betrayed McNabb and cried for Romo.
Instead, he would be known as the guy who helped create Sam Bradford.
For those who doubt Owens can be a positive influence, I point to the fact that he enjoyed a wave-free season with the Bills last year and has always enjoyed something of a one-season honeymoon with each one of his teams.
Owens has also been popular with every single one of the teams that he has been on due to his willingness to work with players after practice on the field and in the film room. How else could he wield such terrible influence in years past?
So having established why I think Owens and the Rams are a good fit, now I am going to go into why this could work.
And when I say work, I mean the Rams could get 2-3 more wins with Owens than what they would accomplish if they didn’t have him.
Without Owens, I think the Rams will win four games next season, with him I could see them winning seven. That is a big difference and would be a huge boost to franchise and fan morale.
Owens' familiarity with the West Coast scheme that the Rams run is also a key factor as to why this could be a success.
Owens knows the offense backwards and forwards, and would be able to help young players on the team understand their roles better.
Aside from being a mentor. Owens' presence on Sundays would have a rippled effect felt by all his teammates.
Life would be made easier for the Rams’ running game because defenses would occasionally be too scared to drop an extra safety into the box due to Owens being a play-action threat down the field.
That would open things up for Steven Jackson. In the passing game, Owens would provide an excellent security blanket on third downs for Bradford while his occasional double teams would also free up the other wide receivers.
Owens would be a massive help to Bradford because he would make the game simpler for him and honestly, nasty legacy or not, that is reason enough for me as to why the Rams should sign Owens, and sign him right now.