All right, everyone take a deep breath.
I know that Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan seem to have finally put a lid on the Redskins’ Pandora’s Box. I know it probably took weeks and some improbable combination of Allen’s gentle coddling and Shanahan’s evil glare to finally convince Daniel Snyder that the NFL isn’t a Madden fantasy draft.
I know that the team has made a blatant effort to rid itself of baggage, namely the countless overpaid, degenerate has-beens who have been polluting this once-proud franchise.
Not only do I recognize all of these things, but I have also been a major proponent of the fight for the Redskins to change their ways. As a result, what I’m about to say will most likely come off as a deliberate contradiction of those beliefs.
While the name I am about to mention will surely generate gasps, screams, head clenches and similar stunned reactions, I believe that this move would not serve as a regression. Instead, it would be a momentary fix—a low-risk, high-reward experiment that can do nothing to worsen Washington’s current offensive situation.
So, here it is, my evil plan: the Washington Redskins need to sign Terrell Owens.
As I watched the 1-5 Carolina Panthers outplay Washington in every facet of the game last Sunday, one thing stood out in particular. The Panthers possessed something on offense that was severely lacking when the Redskins had the ball: play-makers.
Whether it was Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart or Cam Newton, Carolina had players who, at any minute, were a threat to make a huge play. The Redskins have a decent set of possession receivers, but none of them can stretch the field.
And now, with the injury to Santana Moss, Washington is about to find out what each of their young, inexperienced receivers has to offer for the future.
So for now, why not sign Terrell Owens?
The 38-year-old is an athletic machine, and even with offseason knee surgery, there’s no reason to assume he has broken down. Throughout his hall-of-fame career, Owens has been a guy who can make big plays and score touchdowns.
Those are the two biggest ingredients missing from the Redskins’ offense.
More convincingly, the Redskins lose nothing by signing this guy, even if he doesn’t have a single catch all season. This isn’t Albert Haynesworth. A player whose only offer so far is from the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League isn’t going to be commanding that hefty of a salary.
The best-case scenario is they give him a one-year contract, he comes to practice humbled and ready to work (no one has ever questioned his work ethic) and he helps Washington win a couple of games. The worst-case scenario is he gets frustrated with his role, becomes disgruntled in the locker room and he gets cut.
The team loses zero draft picks and barely any money, so where’s the risk?
The NFC East is wide-open this year. The Giants are 4-2, the Redskins and Cowboys are 3-3 and the Eagles are 2-4. It’s anyone’s division to win.
Don’t you think TO would like a chance to step back into the division and compete against two of his former teams?
Remember, Terrell’s issues have always been in his head. His emotions have carried him to his highest of highs and plummeted him to his lowest of lows. This is a guy who (as evidenced on his reality show) cries more than a little girl with a skinned knee.
He cried after his first memorable touchdown catch from Steve Young, in which he held onto the ball despite being tag teamed by two defenders. He cried in defense of his quarterback, Tony Romo, whom Owens, just a few short weeks later, threw under the bus.
He’s probably crying right now at the prospect of never being able to play in the NFL again.
But you know what else he’s doing? He’s working out, running routes and motivating himself to get better.
As I said before, Owens’ work ethic has never been in question. He doesn’t get in brushes with the law or indulge in alcohol and drugs. He plays with his emotions on his sleeve and a chip on his shoulder.
So what better place for Terrell to land than on a team that the rest of the NFL seems to have cast aside, as well? It could be a match made in heaven.
Or it could be a disaster, but with almost zero risk involved, why not roll the dice?