It might be time to pull that no. 81 jerseys out from the back of your closet if you didn’t burn it or throw it out, because the one and only Terrell Owens might just be headed back to the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the thought of TO — who fans have long referred to as “Team Obliterator” — coming back to the Eagles after the way the last stint ended would seem like the worst idea Jeffrey Lurie could think of, think again. When you put that hatred aside and see it through a different perspective, bringing Owens back actually makes a lot of sense.
Considering the way Philadelphia’s wide receivers have fallen, first with Jeremy Maclin and now Arrelious Benn both going down due to ACL injuries, there really is no reason to think that Owens, who reportedly clocked a 40-time better than what he did as a rookie, would make this team any worse.
He still seems like he can play, and he would easily be penciled in as the no. 2 guy on the depth chart beyond DeSean Jackson. Even an aging Owens is better than what the Eagles are fielding now.
There would’t be any temper tantrums either, as there would be no one to worry about stealing his touchdowns. Let’s face it — even Jackson has not been a touchdown machine during his career. He has just 23 in six seasons in the league, which averages to less than four a season. In Owens’ last season in the league, 2010, he still caught nine touchdowns at the ripe old age of 38.
Jackson hasn’t caught nine touchdowns since 2009 and his totals have been going down each year since. Last year, he caught just two. I would bet a large sum of money that even a 40-year-old Owens would at least be able to do that.
Then there is the factor of the brand new, hyped-up Chip Kelly offense.
There has been so much anticipation around what the Eagles will look like under Kelly, but with each passing day, it seems he is losing yet another weapon. For an offense like Kelly’s to work, he needs the weapons. If it is true that he hasn’t lost a step, Owens would be an ideal receiver and perfect weapon for Kelly.
Of course, there are skeptics that would say that Owens in Philadelphia was a bad idea the first time around and would be a bad idea now as far as the team chemistry thing, but I would have to disagree.
Most of the guys Owens butted heads with, including Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, are gone. In fact, the only players remaining from the Owens era (2004-05) are tackle Todd Herremans and DE Trent Cole. So Owens would be getting a fresh start with a brand new QB, head coach and a host of new teammates.
Of course, the fans might still harbor anti-Owens sentiments, but if he makes the offense better and the Eagles win games, the same fans that booed him out of the city would welcome him back with open arms. The team doesn’t have a championship in its history and is desperately yearning for one.
From a former dog fighter as the QB to a potentially racist wide receiver, it seems the fans don’t care who is on the roster as long as they bring in victories.
And speaking of Riley Cooper, one of the main reasons why people might not want Owens back is because of his reputation as a clubhouse cancer. Considering that the Eagles’ clubhouse is already divided over Cooper’s racial slur, people could fear that Owens might only serve to exacerbate an already evident problem.
But again, I’m going to take a different approach here. Because of Cooper and the clubhouse division, frankly, there is no team left to obliterate. And who knows, maybe Owens has developed wisdom and would take Cooper under his wing?
Well, that is unlikely, but regardless, it seems pretty certain that Owens should be an option for this team and one who has the potential to be a moderate-risk, high-reward signing. At this point, Philadelphia really has nothing left to lose, and they could do much worse than a future Hall-of-Famer.