Ten possible landing spots for Terrell Owens

In the first episode of the second season of The T.O. Show, free-agent receiver Terrell Owens rounds out his single year in Buffalo by apparently throwing in the towel: "I don’t really think I can do the whole new team, new city. This year’s just not been up to my expectations. So, mentally, I’m done."

Terrell Owens started all 16 games for the Bills last season, finishing with 55 receptions for 829 yards and only five touchdowns.
Terrell Owens started all 16 games for the Bills last season, finishing with 55 receptions for 829 yards and only five touchdowns.

But he isn’t really done; T.O. has been trying diligently, to the point of desperately, to land a new gig.

To date, no dice.

He has at times blamed the media (specifically ESPN) for pointing to past words and deeds that could lead a team to be reluctant to sign him now, and T.O. has argued he did nothing to rock the boat in 2009 despite operating under inherently frustrating circumstances with the Bills. Still, no one wants him, for now.

The primary impediment could be his asking price (reportedly $5 million for the year) and his expectation that he be installed in one of the top two spots on the depth chart. Though he claims he’s no longer a diva, his demands suggest otherwise.

At some point, then, he’ll need to reduce his expectations. If/when he humbles himself, perhaps someone will give him another job.

So where could T.O. land for 2010? Let’s explore 10 possibilities, ranked in no particular order:

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens had interest in Owens before trading for Anquan Boldin. Though it’s unlikely that they’d revisit T.O. absent an injury to Boldin, Derrick Mason, or Donte’ Stallworth, a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles to any of those three players would put Baltimore instantly in play for Owens.

What about his asking price? The fact that they’ll pay quarterback Marc Bugler $3.8 million to back up Joe Flacco means the Ravens wouldn’t hesitate to pay T.O., if they get to the point where they need him.

Cincinnati Bengals

Receiver Chad Ochocinco pushed hard for the Bengals to sign his VH1 partner, and coach Marvin Lewis brought Owens in for a visit, right after Antonio Bryant visited Cincinnati — and right before Bryant signed a multi-year deal.

After Bryant signed, talk persisted for a few weeks that T.O. still could be added. Barring an injury to Ochocinco or Bryant, however, Owens would be No. 3 on the depth chart, at best. And he’d have to take a lot less than $5 million for the year.

The most telling sign that it’s not likely to happen? Even Ochocinco, the consummate talker, has long since quit talking about the possibility of playing with Owens.

Pittsburgh Steelers

With Super Bowl 43 MVP Santonio Holmes long gone and Super Bowl 40 MVP Hines Ward not getting any younger, the Steelers would benefit from whatever T.O. has left in the tank.

If Owens wants to join a contender and get a shot at a Super Bowl ring, maybe Owens would drop his asking price for a chance to play in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers have to be willing to take a chance on a guy with a checkered past, and given their quarterback with a checkered present, it’s probably too much of a risk.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL. So why not add the guy who believes he’s still the most dynamic receiver?

The notion of adding T.O. to the Titans is compelling. With defenses focused on stopping Chris Johnson, Owens could be running free, with quarterback Vince Young sending the ball deep down the field with a flick of the wrist.

No serious talk of T.O. to Tennessee has emerged, but it makes too much sense to ignore the possibility.

Oakland Raiders

Owens has long been linked to the Raiders, based primarily on the fact his attitude and demeanor meshes with the type of player that the Oakland teams of the ’70s relished. And, even at 36, T.O. still has the speed owner Al Davis covets.

But Owens would have to make a leap of faith when it comes to the question of whether the Raiders can contend — and the Raiders would have to come up with a way to pay him.

San Diego Chargers

With receiver Vincent Jackson apparently intent on holding out deep into the 2010 season, the Chargers need a replacement. And Josh Reed, who signed last month, isn’t the answer.

So why not T.O.? He could help the Chargers’ offense dramatically, and he could be the difference between another early playoff exit and a Super Bowl.

Still, the team that once wasted millions on David Boston has demonstrated zero interest in T.O.

Washington Redskins

In April, not long after quarterback Donovan McNabb landed in D.C., he reportedly began lobbying for his new team to sign T.O. Coach Mike Shanahan swiftly put the kibosh on the possibility, but he left the door open a crack, saying only that "we will not go in that direction right now."

More recently, Owens have continued to express a desire to reunite with McNabb. But there’s still no reason to believe Shanahan plans to take advantage of the "right now" caveat he used several months ago.

Chicago Bears

The Bears are the team most likely to overlook Owens’ past because, well, they’re desperate to win now in order to save coach Lovie Smith’s future. And the Bears simply don’t have a strong No. 1 wideout to pair with franchise quarterback Jay Cutler.

But T.O. has no experience with offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and it’s unlikely that those two strong personalities could coexist, unless every pass is being thrown in Owens’ direction.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have no real complement to Steve Smith, and coach John Fox needs a big season in order to have a chance to stick around for 2011. (Of course, there’s a chance he doesn’t want to stick around for 2011.)

Owens and Smith paired with running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart would give the Panthers a potent offense — assuming Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen could survive having T.O. bark in one ear and Smith bark in the other.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle previously sniffed around Brandon Marshall, and the Seahawks reportedly have interest in Vincent Jackson. With Marshall traded to Miami and Jackson supposedly not available, there’s only one way Seattle can make a big splash at wideout without trading for someone else.

Still, Owens has been available for months and nothing has happened. Though the Seahawks are believed to be interested, something is holding up the process.

In the end, it could be Owens’ asking price.

Mike Florio writes and edits ProFootballTalk.com and is a regular contributor to Sporting News. Check out PFT for up-to-the minute NFL news.

In the first episode of the second season of The T.O. Show, free-agent receiver Terrell Owens rounds out his single year in Buffalo by apparently throwing in the towel: "I don’t really think I can do the whole new team, new city. This year’s just not been up to my expectations. So, mentally, I’m done."

Terrell Owens started all 16 games for the Bills last season, finishing with 55 receptions for 829 yards and only five touchdowns.
Terrell Owens started all 16 games for the Bills last season, finishing with 55 receptions for 829 yards and only five touchdowns.

But he isn’t really done; T.O. has been trying diligently, to the point of desperately, to land a new gig.

To date, no dice.

He has at times blamed the media (specifically ESPN) for pointing to past words and deeds that could lead a team to be reluctant to sign him now, and T.O. has argued he did nothing to rock the boat in 2009 despite operating under inherently frustrating circumstances with the Bills. Still, no one wants him, for now.

The primary impediment could be his asking price (reportedly $5 million for the year) and his expectation that he be installed in one of the top two spots on the depth chart. Though he claims he’s no longer a diva, his demands suggest otherwise.

At some point, then, he’ll need to reduce his expectations. If/when he humbles himself, perhaps someone will give him another job.

So where could T.O. land for 2010? Let’s explore 10 possibilities, ranked in no particular order:

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens had interest in Owens before trading for Anquan Boldin. Though it’s unlikely that they’d revisit T.O. absent an injury to Boldin, Derrick Mason, or Donte’ Stallworth, a torn ACL or a ruptured Achilles to any of those three players would put Baltimore instantly in play for Owens.

What about his asking price? The fact that they’ll pay quarterback Marc Bugler $3.8 million to back up Joe Flacco means the Ravens wouldn’t hesitate to pay T.O., if they get to the point where they need him.

Cincinnati Bengals

Receiver Chad Ochocinco pushed hard for the Bengals to sign his VH1 partner, and coach Marvin Lewis brought Owens in for a visit, right after Antonio Bryant visited Cincinnati — and right before Bryant signed a multi-year deal.

After Bryant signed, talk persisted for a few weeks that T.O. still could be added. Barring an injury to Ochocinco or Bryant, however, Owens would be No. 3 on the depth chart, at best. And he’d have to take a lot less than $5 million for the year.

The most telling sign that it’s not likely to happen? Even Ochocinco, the consummate talker, has long since quit talking about the possibility of playing with Owens.

Pittsburgh Steelers

With Super Bowl 43 MVP Santonio Holmes long gone and Super Bowl 40 MVP Hines Ward not getting any younger, the Steelers would benefit from whatever T.O. has left in the tank.

If Owens wants to join a contender and get a shot at a Super Bowl ring, maybe Owens would drop his asking price for a chance to play in Pittsburgh. But the Steelers have to be willing to take a chance on a guy with a checkered past, and given their quarterback with a checkered present, it’s probably too much of a risk.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL. So why not add the guy who believes he’s still the most dynamic receiver?

The notion of adding T.O. to the Titans is compelling. With defenses focused on stopping Chris Johnson, Owens could be running free, with quarterback Vince Young sending the ball deep down the field with a flick of the wrist.

No serious talk of T.O. to Tennessee has emerged, but it makes too much sense to ignore the possibility.

Oakland Raiders

Owens has long been linked to the Raiders, based primarily on the fact his attitude and demeanor meshes with the type of player that the Oakland teams of the ’70s relished. And, even at 36, T.O. still has the speed owner Al Davis covets.

But Owens would have to make a leap of faith when it comes to the question of whether the Raiders can contend — and the Raiders would have to come up with a way to pay him.

San Diego Chargers

With receiver Vincent Jackson apparently intent on holding out deep into the 2010 season, the Chargers need a replacement. And Josh Reed, who signed last month, isn’t the answer.

So why not T.O.? He could help the Chargers’ offense dramatically, and he could be the difference between another early playoff exit and a Super Bowl.

Still, the team that once wasted millions on David Boston has demonstrated zero interest in T.O.

Washington Redskins

In April, not long after quarterback Donovan McNabb landed in D.C., he reportedly began lobbying for his new team to sign T.O. Coach Mike Shanahan swiftly put the kibosh on the possibility, but he left the door open a crack, saying only that "we will not go in that direction right now."

More recently, Owens have continued to express a desire to reunite with McNabb. But there’s still no reason to believe Shanahan plans to take advantage of the "right now" caveat he used several months ago.

Chicago Bears

The Bears are the team most likely to overlook Owens’ past because, well, they’re desperate to win now in order to save coach Lovie Smith’s future. And the Bears simply don’t have a strong No. 1 wideout to pair with franchise quarterback Jay Cutler.

But T.O. has no experience with offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and it’s unlikely that those two strong personalities could coexist, unless every pass is being thrown in Owens’ direction.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have no real complement to Steve Smith, and coach John Fox needs a big season in order to have a chance to stick around for 2011. (Of course, there’s a chance he doesn’t want to stick around for 2011.)

Owens and Smith paired with running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart would give the Panthers a potent offense — assuming Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen could survive having T.O. bark in one ear and Smith bark in the other.

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle previously sniffed around Brandon Marshall, and the Seahawks reportedly have interest in Vincent Jackson. With Marshall traded to Miami and Jackson supposedly not available, there’s only one way Seattle can make a big splash at wideout without trading for someone else.

Still, Owens has been available for months and nothing has happened. Though the Seahawks are believed to be interested, something is holding up the process.

In the end, it could be Owens’ asking price.

Mike Florio writes and edits ProFootballTalk.com and is a regular contributor to Sporting News. Check out PFT for up-to-the minute NFL news.

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