With the recent no-show of NFL scouts and front office personnel to free-agent wideout Terrell Owens highly-publicized workout, you have to wonder if the controversial—yet talented—Owens’ prolific 15-year NFL career is all but done.
At the age of 37—and about to turn 38—on December 7, and having just come back from an injury to his MCL, the market for the NFL’s second all-time leader in yards receiving with 15,394 may be dry.
Owens is currently tied with Randy Moss and Jerry Rice in receiving touchdowns with 153. In 14 games with the Cincinnati Bengals, Owens had 72 catches for 983 yards and nine touchdowns.
And at the age of 36, Owens averaged 13.8 yards per reception during the 2010-11 season.
During Owen’s workout, he showed off his impressive 6’3 224-pound sculpted figure to the media and after the workout, stated that he wishes to play for a Super Bowl contender with an already-established quarterback. A prospective team for Owens would have to need a replacement due to injury and in need of an imposing red-zone target in the end-zone.
Although there may have been no scouts or front-office personnel present, there may be a need for a player of Owen’s talents.
Here are the five teams that could be a potential landing spot for T.O.
San Francisco 49ers (5-1) – Currently atop the NFC West, the 49ers may be a long-shot to bring back the man they drafted 89th overall in the third round out of Tenneesee-Chattonoga.
The Niners have a run-heavy based offense geared towards running back Frank Gore, and a sub-par wide receiver corps of Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan.
With wide receiver Braylon Edwards set to return and the inconsistency of Crabtree, San Francisco could use a proverbial shot in the arm in landing Owens as the Niners have the 31st ranked passing offense in the NFL.
Oakland Raiders (4-3) – A contender who just recently traded for LB Aaron Curry and former teammate in Cincinnati, Carson Palmer, the Raiders would at best be considered a 50-50 shot at taking a flyer on Owens.
Like their Bay Area neighbors in San Francisco, the Raiders also have a run-heavy offense which is center around running back Darren McFadden, and just like the Niners, The Raiders may need Owens to step in and give their 25th ranked passing offense a boost.
Despite the recent emergence of wideouts Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore, they also have a combined three receiving touchdowns between them. The Raiders may not consider Owens to be an every-down starter, but he could be used as a decoy and a un-coverable red-zone threat for Palmer to exploit.
With their recent history in Cincinnati, Palmer may influence Oakland into signing Owens.
Buffalo Bills (4-2) – Sitting in 2nd place behind the New England Patriots, the Bills may have no injuries at the wideout spot and a clutch QB in Ryan Fitzpatrick, with the schedule set to get tougher and a possible need for a third receiver, Owens may be worth a look.
During the 6-10 2009-10 season with the Bills, Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns.
The Bills—like the 49ers—have the unique advantage of knowing what they will get from T.O. and despite his penchant for off-the-field drama, Owens would give the Bills a truly explosive and border-line unstoppable passing attack.
Tennessee Titans (3-3) – Currently behind the AFC South leader, Houston Texans, the Titans may be a possible fit for Owens due to both injury and system familiarity.
Starting wideout Kenny Britt is out for the season with a torn ACL and with the release of Justin Gage, Tennessee may be an early favorite to land Owens.
The Titans also have an established quarterback in Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck under center and a game-breaker at running back in Chris Johnson—who would also benefit—due to Owens taking attention and pressure off of him.
If the Titans hope to contend for an AFC wildcard spot and catch Houston in the AFC South, calling up Drew Rosenhaus should be their next move.
Chicago Bears (4-3) – The defending NFC North champion Bears currently sit in third place behind both Super Bowl champion Green Bay and the up-start Detroit Lions, Chicago may be the front-runner to sign Owens.
The Bears—like the Titans—also have a Pro Bowl at QB in Jay Cutler and a game-changer at running back in Matt Forte. What the Bears don’t have is a legit red-zone target and a real #1.
While Chicago does have wideouts Devin Hester, Dane Sanzenbacher, Johnnie Knox and Earl Bennett, none of them would create defensive mismatches the way that Owens would.
The Bears were rumored to be one of the teams that were looking to sign Jets wideout Plaxico Burress when he was released from prison—while they chose to pass on Burress—they would be fools to pass on Owens.
Chicago had the fifth worst passing attack in the NFL last year and currently rank only a mere 18th —despite having offensive guru Mike Martz—Chicago needs Owens the same reason why they needed Burress—a lack of reliable and tall red-zone target.
With tight end Greg Olsen now in Carolina and the shakiness of Roy Williams, Owens would be an instant upgrade in Chicago and help the Bears make a run at both Green Bay and Detroit.
In closing, both the Titans and Bears have pressing needs at the wideout position, both via injury and lack of a red-zone target for their respective QB’s in Cutler and Hasselbeck.
The other teams mentioned may at best be considered long-shots, but then again with the rash of current injuries around the league—thanks in part to the NFL lockout— stranger things have happened.
Get your popcorn ready!
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