Terrell Owens in Cincinnati Means Bad News for Some Longhorns on Bengals

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorJuly 28, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  NFL player Terrell Owens sits courtside in Game Six of the 2010 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on June 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the signing of Terrell Owens to the Cincinnati Bengals today, we finally got the big decision that we were all waiting for.  No, no one else was sitting on pins and needles like we were for Lebron earlier this month? Well, I guess unless you are named Chad Ochocinco, then you were worried where T.O. was going to sign.  So with Chad getting his way and now having his Robin or Batman or whatever fun character he will want to call Owens; the question now for Longhorn fans is, what does this mean for the three Longhorns currently on offense for the Bengals?

For starters, there is starting running back Cedric Benson.  He came to the Bengals amid controversy like Owens.  Stories of Benson being selfish while playing in Chicago while not to mention his multiple run-ins with the law; made him a cast-off and a risky player.  However a strong 2009 season silenced those critics who thought Cincinnati made a bad decision bringing in Benson.  In the offseason, Benson signed a new long-term deal to stay with the Bengals as their featured running back.

But, now with the signing of Owens, where does Benson fit in this offense?  Quarterback, Carson Palmer, only has one football to either pass, or hand off.  History has shown what happens when T.O. does not get the ball enough (see: McNabb, Donovan-Eagles vs. Steelers 04).  What happens if in a AFC-North division game against Baltimore, and the passing game is being shut-down.  Does T.O. go off on the side-line when the offense is handing the ball off to Cedric 75percent of the time?

Then there is the over crowded Wide Receiving core on the Bengals roster.  For those who are not aware of the off-season signings of the Bengals let me catch you up.  Not only did they sign Owens, but they brought in Matt Jones, formerly of Jacksonville.  They also signed Antonio Bryant to a four year $28million deal.  Bryant was brought in to replace former number two wide receiver, T.J. Houshmandzadeh who left two years ago to play in Seattle. 

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So how does this over crowded Bengals’ bus of wide outs affect former Longhorns Quan Cosby and Jordan Shipley?  One maybe cut after their rookie year (Cosby) ,or one maybe cut before he even plays one NFL regular season game (Shipley).  Or both may get to make the main roster, that is how. 

Both are almost carbon copies of one another in the eyes of the NFL.  In Quan’s rookie year his stats were as such: four catches, 55 yards, and zero touchdowns.  That really is not going to secure your spot on the 52-man roster.  But, what saves Quan is what he can do on the special teams.  He handled all the team’s punt returns at 40, and his 11.9-yard average ranked third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL. 

Does this save Quan a spot on the 52-man roster when the Bengals open the season? Maybe, as it does add extra value to him. 

But then there is Longhorn Jordan Shipley that the Bengals just drafted this year.  Let’s compare Jordan, to Quan.  Can Jordan return punts? Yes.  Can Jordan play in the slot? Yes.  Can the Bengals cut Quan to make room on the roster and add salary space for when the new salary cap is announced? Yes.

Hate to say it but in the NFL it’s here today, gone today.

Salary might be the downfall for Quan.  As an undrafted rookie, Cosby is only making peanuts compared to some of the other receivers on this roster. In fact Shipley signed his rookie contract with the Bengals at four years for a total of $2.54million. 

So does Shipley take Quan’s spot? Does Quan keep his spot and Shipley takes over as a Wes Welker type of player in this new Bengals pass happy offense? Does Cedric complain that he is not getting the ball enough?  Or does T.O. and Ochocinco make this one big reality show that VH-1 picks up and airs in the spring of 2011? It is anybody’s guess what is going to happen during this Bengals season.

I can say this; at least one person will be making it rain in the locker room after every win. I am looking at you Pacman Jones.

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