Terrell Owens to Seattle: Desperate times call for desperate receivers
The Seattle Seahawks are willing to try anything — or try out anyone, apparently — in an effort to add some veteran help at wide receiver.
First it was Antonio Bryant (who was signed on July 26 and released Sunday). Then Braylon Edwards. And now, the pièce de résistance, Terrell Owens.
The Seahawks made the move for Owens on Monday, reportedly signing the 38-year-old receiver to a one-year contract after he ran a sub-4.5 40 during a workout in Seattle. Mind you, this is the same Owens who, when we last saw him, was being released by the Indoor Football League’s Allen Wranglers for failing to show up for an appearance at a children’s hospital.
“It is difficult to look other players on this team in the eyes and tell them that being a team player is important … that giving it your all on the field every night is our expectation, when another member of this team is not operating by these standards,” Wranglers co-owner Tommy Benizio said in a statement.
High praise for Owens’ work ethic, that was not.
Maybe sitting out the 2011 season after tearing his ACL and having to dip all the way to the Indoor Football League took its toll on Owens’ motivation. That’s understandable, to an extent — not to a “Hey, why don’t you blow off these sick kids” extent, but more in that a competitor like Owens had to feel he was playing at a level well below his abilities.
Owens has not played in the NFL since 2010, so he’ll have to prove to Seattle that he still deserves to play at this highest of levels. Which brings us back to the Seahawks.
In an ideal world for Seattle, Sidney Rice would make it through a full season and play as a No. 1 guy; Golden Tate would emerge as a rising star; and Doug Baldwin, Ben Obamanu, Deon Butler and Ricardo Lockette would round out a deep depth chart at receiver. In reality, the Seahawks can’t really count on Rice, who’s had three concussions in the past year and is working his way back from a shoulder injury. Baldwin led them in catches last season with just 51, while Tate, Obamanu and the oft-injured Rice all wound up in the 30s.
The overall underwhelming qualities of that group made it a little odd that Seattle opted to use nary a one of its 10 draft picks in April on a wide receiver. Of course, a rookie WR wouldn’t quench Seattle’s thirst for a proven player out wide, but throwing a dart in the later rounds probably would not have hurt.
Seattle also played it pretty close to the vest in free agency, aside from grabbing quarterback Matt Flynn. If there were receivers out there that piqued the Seahawks’ interest, they didn’t exactly throw money at them.
Follow the trail and you wind up where we are now: With Seattle picking through the scrap heap to try to satisfy their wants. A healthy Owens should have as good a shot as anyone to make the roster and fill that role.
Get your popcorn — and maybe a few bottles of aspirin — ready.