If the attendance at Owens’ Tuesday workout is any indication, so far NFL teams don’t appear to be buying it — or they’re just not interested in a shelling out money for a past-his-prime diva with a history of team chemistry issues who also happens to be coming off ACL surgery.
But the NFL also happens to be the league that welcomed a 39- then 40-year-old Brett Favre. So the odds of T.O. getting picked up at some point this season are not as long as you might think.
Now the real question: who wants him?
Watch video of Owens’ workout here.
“I feel good,” Owens told NFL Network reporter Lindsay Soto following his workout. “This is actually shorter than I’ve been going the last couple of weeks, so I feel good. It’s been challenging from a physical standpoint, just to get my knee back to where it needs to be, and to have the confidence to go out here and run and cut. This is what I’ve been training for, I’m not worried about the naysayers who say that I can’t come back, that I’m wasting my time. I think what I showed today — it speaks for itself.”
Here are a few potential destinations...
Tennessee Titans (3-3). The Titans’ offense took a huge hit when talented top wide receiver Kenny Britt was lost for the season to a torn ACL and MCL. Tennessee is still in the hunt in the AFC South, but with Chris Johnson proving week after week that his contract holdout hurt his conditioning and preparation for the season, the team needs more offense. Matt Hasselbeck threw for a laughable 104 yards in Sunday’s 41-7 home loss to Houston and have scored 24 points combined over the past two weeks. Titans coach Mike Munchak expressed some interest in a healthy Owens last week and with Nate Washington, Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins leading a middling receiving corps and a veteran quarterback who should be able to handle all that T.O. brings, Owens might be worth a look.
San Francisco 49ers (5-1). San Fran is rolling in the miserable NFC West, providing hope that the division might actually churn out a team with a winning record this season. So why mess with a good thing? Even with Braylon Edwards set to return from right knee surgery, the 49ers receiving corps isn’t great. Michael Crabtree is finally becoming a consistent contributor in his third year, but the team already lost Josh Morgan for the season and tight end Vernon Davis currently leads the team in both receptions (24) and yards (271). Alex Smith has been surprisingly competent at quarterback for a change, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers (who the Niners passed on to take Smith in 2005), or even Eli Manning. Pop quiz: Who was the 49ers No. 1 receiver the last time they made the playoffs in 2002? Yep, that’d be Terrell Owens (13,000 yards, 13 TDs). Could T.O. be the key to them getting back?
Minnesota Vikings (1-6). The Christian Ponder era has begun in Minny, and despite going 13 for 32 in his debut, the rookie held his own against the Packers on Sunday. The Vikes just cut ties with perennial under-achiever Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin is injured once again, opening the door for Michael Jenkins to emerge as the team’s top receiving threat. Could T.O. hinder Ponder’s development? Sure. But last we heard T.O. and benched QB Donovan McNabb were buddies (or were they enemies?), so at least having Owens around would keep McNabb entertained on the sidelines.
Oakland Raiders (4-3). Carson Palmer looked out of place in his first action with the Raiders on Sunday. By mortgaging the farm to get him, Oakland demonstrated it’s “Just win (now!), baby” mentality. Give Palmer a target he’s used to throwing to (a full week of practice could also help) and maybe he can cut down on the INTs.
Washington Redskins (3-3). The Redskins have a slew on young wide receivers on their roster — four aged 23 or younger. They also just lost top target Santana Moss for 5-7 weeks to a broken hand and tight end Chris Cooley and running back Tim Hightower for the season. Washington also has a history of liking shiny objects... and T.O. spent most of his workout with his shirt off. Should the Redskins sink more money into an aging veteran in a season that appears to be heading straight downhill? Proabably not. Could Owens immediately become the best big-play option in the receiving game if Washington decided to pick him up? It’s possible.
Our readers have some pretty strong opinions on whether Owens would look good in burgundy and gold. Here are a few takes from Tuesdsay’s post on T.O.’s sparsely attended workout...
• “The Washington Football Redskins have no need for more wide receivers-none. All the team has to do is let the young ones they have already freaking develop!!!!! Constantly attempting to skip this step is where the team goes. wrong.” — ArmchairGM
• “Might as well bring him to DC, but I guess Shanny is the only diva we need.” — NoahH
• “The era of the loudmouth diva receiva is ova. The Packers, Pats, Saints prove that it’s about team and multiple weapons. And the Johnson boys of Texas and Detroit have left the Me-First-Mouth in the ash heap of history.” — chocobear78
What do you think? Where will T.O. end up?