Get Your Popcorn Ready Seattle!
The Seattle Seahawks management team needs to be applauded for the move they made yesterday. Seattle and Wide Receiver Terrell Owens have agreed to a 1 year, 1 million dollar contract. Although there are many doubters about whether this is a good move for Seattle, I don’t see how there could be much debate over it at all. In his storied career, T.O. has brought in 153 career TD’s, which is 2nd all-time behind Jerry Rice. He is also 2nd behind Rice in all-time yards, another valuable statistic. Owens has been to the Pro-Bowl 6 times and been selected All-Pro 5 times. He is a lock for the Hall of Fame. The Seattle Seahawks are undeniably a better team today than they were a week ago.
T.O.’s critics are quick to point out all of his off the field issues. However, if you look at Owen’s last two NFL stops, Buffalo and Cincinnati, he stayed completely out of trouble and performed. The Seahawks are a smaller market team that is basically out of the spotlight, much like the Bills and Bengals. Terrell Owens will not be under the scrutiny that he was in cities like Philadelphia and Dallas, and I truly believe he will stay out of trouble. The last time T.O. was in the NFL, he was by far the best WR on his team. He lead Cincinnati with 72 catches, 9 TDs and a terrific 983 yards. He is only one year removed from this level of production. The Seattle Seahawks receiving corp consists of the often injured Sydney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler and the incredibly inconsistent Braylon Edwards. Baldwin was their top receiver last year but his 5 TD’s on 51 catches and 788 yards are nothing special. During his Seattle workout, Owens ran a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, showing that he still has the speed and hands that would make him instantly the best receiving threat on the Seahawk’s roster.
Even if his production or behavior are a problem, Seattle is not taking any risk in bringing Owens into training camp. NFL contracts are not guaranteed, so if Owens does not perform on or off the field up to Seattle’s expectations, then they can send him packing at any point. However, I really don’t even think it will come to that, as Owens has showed us in the past that when he is determined, he is among the best players in the history of the game. Some people will look at Owens latest stop in the Indoor Football League’s Allen Wranglers as an indication that T.O. will not succeed in Seattle. However, for a player of Owen’s status, there is very little motivation to perform in a second rate league like the Indoor Football League. He will embrace being back on the NFL stage, and I truly think he will take advantage of his last chance. Also, Owens is facing child support charges and needs the money Seattle will pay him to basically avoid jail time. Owens knows what is at stake and is more than capable of turning Seattle’s investment in him into something great.
For everything Terrell Owen’s has done in the NFL that has rubbed people the wrong way, he is far from the biggest malcontent in the league. He has never been brought up on drug, DUI or any other type of charges. There are players on every team in the league with histories of criminal arrests. Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress have both played in the NFL more recently than Terrell Owens, but somehow I think Owens is looked at as more of a bad guy than both of those ex-convicts. T.O. is a showboater, but if you can honestly say that you have never laughed at some of his TD celebrations or self promotional campaigns, then you are either a liar or seriously lacking any sort of personality. Seattle will benefit from T.O.’s ability to make them credible on the field, and relevant off of it. Bringing him into their WR mix is a no-brainer for Seattle and I am quite sure that T.O. will prove all of his doubters wrong.