Feb 25, 2011; Allen, TX USA; Allen Wranglers wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) celebrates with the crowd during the second quarter against the Wichita Wild at the Allen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
It’s no secret that Terrell Owens has been desperate for another shot in the NFL. His tenure in 2012 with the Seattle Seahawks lasted just 20 days into training camp, where he tallied more drops (3) than receptions (2). Prior to that, he last saw regular season action back in 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he finished with 72 receptions, 983 yards, and 9 TDs. The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer firmly believes he still has talents left to offer teams in need, particularly the Patriots.
"“Obviously the situation with the Patriots, they are starting out with a lot of new guys,” Owens told the Boston Globe‘s Gary Washburn. “You never know how management is thinking, what their process is as far as bringing in veterans.”"
With Owens thinking he has something left in the tank, the question posed is does he have enough to make an impact with the Patriots? Or would signing him be a step backward? If you compare Owens’s numbers in his last season with Cincinnati, they actually were better than Brandon Lloyd’s were last year with the Patriots. Owens finished with 72 more yards and 5 more TD’s while catching 2 fewer passes. Although this is significant, those stats were tallied in 2010 and we’re nearing 2014. The last team to take a look at Owens obviously didn’t see the same athlete, but that doesn’t mean they were correct.
On the side of signing him, his off-field antics are basically extinct. He knows the Patriots don’t tolerate off-field shenanigans or media stunts, and he wouldn’t want to risk getting cut after finally getting that chance he’s been looking for. People will cite the failed Ochocinco experiment as a reason for not signing Owens, but they are two very different receivers. For one thing, one is a sure-thing future Hall of Famer…the other is Ochocinco. Owens was one of the best route-running wide outs in his prime and has a very high football IQ, while Ochocinco’s routes were never great and he was unable to grasp the Patriots’s playbook. This is the reason he only had 15 receptions on 32 passes, and gained only 276 yards with 1 TD in his time with New England.
Aug 8, 2012; Renton, WA, USA; NFL: Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Terrell Owens (10) catches a pass during a training camp practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
One could argue that the presence of a veteran WR like Owens, who has more years of NFL experience than the entire Patriots wide receivers squad combined, could be beneficial for the rookies. He could help them with route running and dissecting defenses, while eliminating some of the immense pressure to perform that has been placed on them. If he could perform at a high level, Brady would take targets away from rookies in favor of him. He wouldn’t be asking for a lot of money, just the chance to prove himself. With the frailty of the Patriots’s top receivers Amendola, Edelman, and Gronkowski too, it may be a good idea to add another weapon. At the very least it couldn’t hurt to try him out, would it?
Some could argue that it would hurt the team. The Patriots bringing in Terrell Owens could show the rookie receivers that the organization has a lack of confidence in them. This would potentially hurt their confidence in themselves, and make them more susceptible to drops and slowed development. The rookies already have the veteran presence of Tom Brady, one could argue there’s no need to add anyone else.
What do you think? Comment with your thoughts!