NFL teams a no-show at workout for T.O.
Terrell Owens worked out yesterday at a high school in Calabasas, California; but the turn out to watch the reciever may have been a bit thinner than the 37-year old had hoped. Yes, former teammate and ESPN analyst Jerry Rice was there with a gang from Bristol, and of course T.O’s agent Drew Rosenhaus was in attendance but there were some glaring omissions. Of the 32 NFL teams, not a single one sent a scout or any personnel.
Rosenhaus stated today on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning”that this wasn’t a shock to him. He said that the workout was planned to generate interest or “create buzz.” Neither him or his client view their absence’s to be a negative.
“Just because they weren’t there doesn’t mean they weren’t interested,” he said. “I can guarantee that all 32 teams were interested.”
While I believe that interest from every team is a bit of a stretch, I do agree in, in part with Rosenhaus. First off, if teams have interest they would bring in T.O. for a workout, not the other way around. This is even more prudent as teams would want the receiver’s knee (on which he had off-season surgery) to be examined by team doctors. T.O.’s pro day was quite a while ago, there is no need for them to attend another one.
This holds especially true considering they could just watch it on tv. Both ESPN and the NFL network televised the workout. If teams had interest all they had to do was flip on the television. These were not the only film crews present. In what I believe to be an excellent strategy, Rosenhaus hired a film crew and will send tape of the workout to the NFL teams. This will save the teams expenses and shows Owens’ commitment to making a return. At this juncture in his career, he shouldn’t expect teams to come to his doorstep and fight over his services. He needs to court them and that’s exactly what he is doing.
When T.O. came out for the display, he did so with a shirt that said “I am ready.” A nice touch, but the receiver has never lacked showmanship. As far as the workout itself he ran routs, caught passes and did agility and footwork drills. At times he looked good, at others there were some cause for concern.
On the plus side, his rout running was precise. He seemed more than able to cut sharply despite his bum knee. He also showed some explosiveness and his footwork was sound. Not to be overlooked, he had no problems catching the passes. For a receiver that has struggled at times with drops, this was a definite positive. His physique looked cut and I don’t believe his body would have any trouble standing up to the physicality of NFL games. Except perhaps for one part.
His knee, while it didn’t seem problematic during his routs or exercises, he did favor it at times on the sideline. This is hopefully nothing more than a little tenderness but still might be a cause for some concern. Also, he appeared very winded at times which might lead some to question his endurance. I believe that this is due to him not quite being in “game shape.” It also is problematic he didn’t run a 40-yard dash. This is something NFL teams surely would have liked to have seen.
Overall the workout wasn’t spectacular, but it was okay. More importantly, I believe it was enough to generate at least some interest from teams.
“I only need one team,” Owens said in an interview with the NFL network. “I only need one chance.”
I believe that chance will come. But from who? Owens would like to go to a contender but I don’t believe that the top-tier teams will have any interest. The Saints, Patriots and Packers already have an over-abundance of quality receiving targets. The Jets and Steelers already have their share of older receivers. Dallas, Buffalo and Philadelphia would never welcome Owens back. And teams like the Lions are too knew to the success and dont need the distraction.
So with the aforementioned teams eliminated from the running, I will now turn to 10 teams that should take a flyer:
1. San Francisco 49ers- I believe that this is the absolute best destination for T.O. The 49ers are a legitimate contender but have been decimated by injuries to their receiving core. Not only would he help in production, if good T.O. shows up he could be a great example to Michael Crabtree after the former 1st-round pick has yet to even come close to living up to expectations. Also I think Harbaugh is a tough enough individual to prevent bad T.O. from making an appearance.
2. Oakland Raiders- Terrell Owens may end up in the bay, but it very well maybe with the Raiders. If so, he would have a much different role than he would have with the 49ers. Oakland has options at receiver and T.O. would probably not be the number one guy, but he would take pressure off of McFadden and could be a good influence on a very young group of receivers. Perhaps more importantly, he has a history of success with Carson Palmer from last year. He would help to ease the newly acquired quarterback’s transition and familiarity with a quarterback cant be overlooked.
3. Tennessee Titans- In the media this has been the most rumored destination for T.O. They might have some hesitancy after last year’s failed Randy Moss experiment, but I think they should at least give T.O. a shot. The Titans had the best passing offense in to league prior to the injury to Kenny Britt. As much as they would like him to be, Nate Washington is simply not a number one receiver. He has yet to have a single 100-yard game. That, coupled with Chris Johnson averaging less than three yards a carry, proves the need for another offensive weapon. Owens could be a perfect fit.
4. Baltimore Ravens- While still viewed as a legitimate contender, some weaknesses were exposed in a Monday night loss to the Jaguars earlier this week. The primary example of this was an inability to establish a passing game in the event Anquan Boldin is covered. This move would take pressure off of Boldin. In players like Ray Lewis, they have a great leadership core in place. That, coupled with a Harbaugh at the helm, should keep T.O. from misbehaving. In Baltimore, it’s all about defense, but a little more offense definitely wouldn’t hurt.
5. Cincinnati Bengals- The key to this is familiarity. By knowing the system, Owens could step in and make an impact almost immediately. He also had a proven track record of success with the team. With 984 yards, he was the top receiver on the Bengals last year. I don’t seeing him being number one this year, thanks to an impressive rookie season from A.J. Green, but he will be a nice option on the other side of the field. He could also mentor the young receiver, making a rising star even better.
6. Chicago Bears- There is no one in the league in need of weapons more than Jay Cutler. While he wont help shore up the offensive line; he will provide a target for the franchise quarterback. Cutler had a lot of success with Brandon Marshall and Owens provides a similar type of player. Chicago lacks a legitimate number one receiver and Owens could provide a short-term answer. T.O. wants to play for a contender and Chicago definitely qualifies. What I worry about is his ability to stay healthy in the most physical division in football.
7. Denver Broncos- You may be asking, why a team that can afford to trade their number one receiver in Brandon Lloyd would be interested in adding another receiver. In Lloyd, they lost their deep-threat. While Thomas may be the long term solution, he is recovering from surgery on his achilles tendon and isn’t quite at full speed. This move would allow Royal to go back to being a returner and take him out of the slot, where he hasn’t accomplished much. Quan Cosby has been marginal as a returner and provides nothing as a receiver. This would make way for his release. Plus no one would argue that Matt Willis is a better receiver than T.O. Owens would provide something that the Broncos have lacked since they traded Brandon Marshall. Plus, anyone who could turn the attention away from Tebow at all would be greatly appreciated.
8. Carolina Panthers- While Steve Smith shows a lot of chemistry with Cam Newton, that is pretty much where Newton’s options end. Sure Jonathan Stewart can catch out of the backfield, and Shockey and Olsen are good recievers for tight ends; but Newton needs another option from the receiver position. Owens fits with the identity that Carolina is trying to create, and it wouldn’t hurt to surround their young quarterback with another veteran presence.
9. Washington Redskins- This has everything to do with the injury to Santana Moss. Owens could provide a stopgap in the passing game. Shanahan likes to pass and this would help in the air. It would also take pressure off of Ryan Torian. More importantly, the Redskins have a history of choking ant that wouldn’t sit well with T.O., who doesn’t take loosing well (just ask Donovan McNabb).
10. New York Giants- This is directly tied to the struggles of Mario Manningham. He lost the number two slot, and has even struggled as the number three. Hakeem Nicks is clearly the number one option, but this would incite a healthy competition for the number two spot with Victor Cruz. The Giants need another consistent option for Eli Manning, all I worry about is Tom Caughlin being too much of a pushover to handle a personality like Owens.
This is not to say that these are the only options for Terrell Owens. Nor am I saying that the aforementioned teams are interested. I am merely illustrating teams with a need that he may fill. If I were one of these clubs, I would at least take a flier. He was productive last year at 36, and seeing as he is a fitness freak, there is no reason to think he wont be productive at 37. After all, you don’t get to second on the all-time receiving list by accident.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.