Terrell Owens: 4 NFL Teams He Could Be Playing for in 2011
Six-time Pro Bowler Terrell Owens will most likely be looking for employment again this offseason. Owens may have worn out his welcome in Cincinnati when he made comments about the coaching staff on the NFL Network.
“I think if you look at the talent we had in that locker room this year and we mustered four wins, that should let you know something is not right,” Owens said. “Throughout the year, I saw some things that really wasn’t right."
Owens took it even further:
“I’ve made a comment about if you’re trying to win some championships, it starts from the top down. I think even before I got there, they said the owner was a little different. Obviously, I saw that. You start with the head coach, and then you start with the staff on both sides of the ball. ... Offensively, we really didn’t have the coaching that we really needed to muster what we had on the offensive side of the ball.”
Owens is a free agent this year, and those comments will diminish any interest the Bengals had in re-signing him. Owens is no spring chicken, turning 37 years old last December, and has burned many bridges in his 15-year career, so many teams will be hesitant to sign him.
Despite all the drama, Owens is coming off a solid season and was one of the few bright spots for the Bengals last year. Terrell led Cincinnati in both receiving touchdowns with nine and receiving yards with 983, even with missing the final two games due to knee surgery. Owens fell 17 yards short of joining Jerry Rice and Randy Moss as the only NFL receivers to have 10 1,000-yard seasons.
Terrell insists he still wants to play, but it has to be for a contender. "I'm looking forward to a team that has a good chance of winning a Super Bowl. Other than that I really don't have anything else to play for." A Super Bowl ring is the one thing Terrell Owens is missing on his possible Hall of Fame résumé. Owens will be looking for a fourth new team in four years.
Here are the teams that may be willing to give Terrell Owens a shot.
New York Jets
What better team for Terrell Owens to play on than the New York Jets? Head coach Rex Ryan has a bigger mouth and creates more controversy than any player in the league. In that case, if things get out of hand and the Jets start struggling, Owens can just be himself. It's normal in New York.
With wide receivers Brad Smith, Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards all free agents this year, the position needs to be addressed. Even at 37, Owens can still contribute and give Mark Sanchez a big target to throw the ball to.
Owens said he wants to be on a Super Bowl contender, and the Jets have fallen just one game short of it two years in a row. There would only be one thing to take care of before the Jets make the move, and that's clearing the air between T.O. and Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, who called Owens a "slouch."
The Ravens are another potential Super Bowl contender that may be willing to sign Terrell Owens. There was interest from the Ravens last season when T.O. was a free agent. Linebacker Terrell Suggs said he would "love to have him," while head coach John Harbaugh said he is interested in T.O.
That interest may still be there considering wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Donte' Stallworth are free agents. It will also be a little easier signing Owens this year coming off a drama-free season with solid numbers in Cincinnati rather than the opposite when he left Buffalo.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco loves the deep ball, as he has thrown 18 touchdowns for 30 yards or more. Owens has caught 59 touchdowns of 30 yards or more, and although he may have lost a couple steps, he is still a deep threat and can help stretch the field.
The veterans on that Ravens defense should also be able to keep Owens in line.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots just got rid of a loudmouth distraction in Randy Moss. So why would they even think about going down that road again with Terrell Owens?
Owens realizes that his time is almost up. He knows he has one or two years left before he will be forced to call it quits. Owens has yet to win a Super Bowl and wants nothing but to help contribute to a Super Bowl contender. T.O. is also known to keep his mouth shut when the team he is playing for is winning.
Although the probability of this signing is unlikely because the rowdy behavior won’t sit well with either the Patriots locker room or head coach Bill Belichick, just remember they did take a shot on Randy Moss. Moss was not a leader or a role model before he came to New England. Before the Patriots, Moss had drug issues, traffic incidents and, most importantly, criticism for lack of effort.
The Oakland Raiders are always willing to take the troublemakers that nobody else wants. If it comes down to just the Raiders offering Owens a contract, he should take it.
Oakland made positive strides last season and competed in a weak AFC West division. Running back Darren McFadden finally lived up to his potential and had the best season of his career.
Terrell has his second highest yards per game average at 149 yards a game against the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland has a decent group of young receivers with Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford leading the way, but the average age is 24 years old. Owens could provide some leadership to the group and some much-needed experience.
Owens possesses the skills owner Al Davis goes crazy over, and with the Raiders on the rise, it may be time for them to add a veteran wideout.
Owens can say he wants to play for certain teams and wants to be on a Super Bowl contender, but the teams interested will be limited.
Due to Owens' past, where he caused problems for teams such as the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys and Bills, teams will be hesitant to take a chance on him. If a contender does not call and he doesn't want to play for another subpar team, Owens may be forced to retire.