Get your popcorn ready. The fun is just beginning for Terrell Owens.
The Cowboys released Owens on Thursday, and now the 35-year-old wide receiver has to find a new home. Will there be a huge market for Owens, or has he become the Manny Ramirez of the NFL?
We're banking on the latter, since Owens has already burned several bridges around the league. There's no chance he goes back to San Francisco and Philadelphia, his two previous stops before Dallas, because of what happened before he left those spots.
You can also rule out Miami since Bill Parcells is in charge, and he wouldn't want "the player" he never wanted to begin with. The Vikings are out, too, since Brad Childress is the coach. Childress and Owens had a rocky relationship with the Eagles and rarely, if ever, spoke.
Two other teams have already issued a "no thanks" for Owens' services, according to reports, and that's Washington and the Giants. These were two possible landing spots for Owens, but they don't want to deal with the headache.
|T.O. is silver and black? Yuck. But with a horseshoe on his helmet? Sign us up! (US Presswire)|
So where does that leave Owens? He needs to swallow his pride, take a one-year offer with incentives and prove he can still play while being a model teammate. He also needs a good quarterback in place and would probably want to play for a winner.
As you can tell, the market is already bare. You can already rule out another handful of teams that don't want him or need him or that he would never play for. That list includes Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Arizona, St. Louis and Seattle.
New England is one rumored destination, but we can't imagine Owens and Randy Moss in the same locker room. The Patriots also have plenty of other needs on defense.
The Jets need help at wide receiver after losing Laveranues Coles, but they also need a quarterback first. It might have worked if Brett Favre was still there, but Owens with the Jets seems unlikely to happen.
Denver is another team that should be ruled out because the Broncos wouldn't want to give 32-year-old head coach Josh McDaniels that problem in his first job. He already has enough to deal with now that Jay Cutler is upset and Brandon Marshall could be suspended.
Oakland is intriguing because Al Davis would spend money and loves big-play wide receivers, but we don't see Owens going there even if there's a significant offer. He would become insignificant with the Raiders, and they don't have a chance to win.
Tennessee is another team that could take a chance on Owens, but the Titans would likely be in a wait-and-see mode with Owens and not jump in to make an offer. Jeff Fisher knows he can win without superstars, and he's not about to mess up team chemistry.
With that said, here are the five possible landing spots for Owens. These are teams that need help at wide receiver, are willing to take a chance on a short-term solution with baggage and have a quarterback and an offense in place that could make Owens happy.
Comment: As we know now that Tony Dungy has retired, Peyton Manning runs the Colts. And since the Colts just released Marvin Harrison, there is a hole opposite Reggie Wayne for a big-play receiver. Manning can deal with Owens, and the Colts love adding weapons on offense. This is exactly what Indianapolis needs to win this year, and they can sign Owens for a low-base salary with little guaranteed money. This is the exact scenario where Owens would fit in.
Fantasy value if signed: If Owens has Manning throwing him the ball he would remain a Top 10 Fantasy option. He would remain a candidate for double digits in touchdowns, and he could still approach 1,000 yards. He would play indoors and on turf, and the Colts have shown they love to throw the ball no matter the score.
San Diego Chargers
Comment: The Chargers are ready to win now with LaDainian Tomlinson's window closing and Norv Turner always on the hot seat. Philip Rivers has the demeanor to deal with Owens, and there is enough talent on the roster that Owens can put them over the top. The Chargers will get Shawne Merriman back on defense to shore up that side of the ball, and Owens would be an immediate upgrade on offense over Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers. Rivers, Tomlinson, Owens and Antonio Gates would make the Chargers the best offense in the NFL. The Chargers also play at Dallas this year.
Fantasy value if signed: Rivers has always had an elite tight end, but he's never had a true No. 1 receiver. Owens would remain a No. 1 receiver in San Diego and would still approach double digits in touchdowns and 1,000 yards. If you believe Tomlinson is done, the Chargers would be throwing more, which would only help Owens.
New Orleans Saints
Comment: The Saints realized last year they have to outscore their opponents to win. Since they did nothing significant to upgrade their defense this offseason, adding another receiver would make sense. New Orleans already tamed Jeremy Shockey and would have no problem integrating Owens. Drew Brees could definitely handle Owens' ego, and lining up Owens, Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Shockey and Reggie Bush would make the Saints unstoppable. While New Orleans isn't a big-time market, the Saints get on TV enough to make Owens happy. And New Orleans plays host to Dallas this year.
Fantasy value if signed: Like Indianapolis, playing indoors and on turf would allow Owens to remain at a high level. And Brees passed 635 times last year and for more than 5,000 yards. That would make Owens giddy, and he would get single coverage in that offense. Owens would remain a No. 1 option in New Orleans.
Comment: The Texans need to make a splash after failing to make the playoffs last year. Since Houston feels like the little brother in Texas in this sibling rivalry, taking on Owens would grab some headlines, especially since he will be motivated following his release. Houston doesn't need an elite receiver with Andre Johnson in place, but Owens opposite Johnson would only open up that offense. It would make Matt Schaub an elite Fantasy option, and coach Gary Kubiak could handle Owens' antics. The Texans would love to be the top team in that state, and the only way to do that is by winning. Owens helps in that regard.
Fantasy value if signed: Owens would be on the cusp of a No. 1 Fantasy option with the Texans. He would get single coverage because of Johnson, but Schaub has yet to prove he can stay healthy for a full season and put up outstanding stats. But adding Owens could change that for Schaub, and we think Owens would do fine in Houston.
Comment: It might be a stretch to think the Falcons need help after making the playoffs last year with a rookie head coach and rookie quarterback. Atlanta also just got over one public relations nightmare with Michael Vick, so why would they want another one? For starters, Owens has never been a problem off the field, and the Falcons have enough in place in terms of leadership to deal with Owens if he acted up in the locker room. Matt Ryan could use another weapon opposite Roddy White, and the Falcons are one playmaker away from being a Super Bowl contender in the NFC.
Fantasy value if signed: Again, the Falcons play in a dome and on turf, so Owens would remain a solid deep threat. Ryan showed last year that he's ready to become a star, but his inexperience would be the only issue in this equation. Owens would still get single coverage because of White, and the Falcons have a strong running game with Michael Turner. Owens would a low-end No. 1 Fantasy option in Atlanta.
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