After the news broke last night that the Cowboys and WR Terrell Owens would be parting ways, I immediately began to think where his next destination could be. I ended up sorting through a number of teams, the Carolina Panthers, the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins, and even the Oakland Raiders. Then, as I was lying in bed last night. It came to me.
The Denver Broncos.
Let's relive a moment from February of 2006, before Cutler, before McDaniels, before Marshall, before Royal, back when head coach Mike Shanahan was making a run at Owens. He brought him in and by March, the Broncos offered him a 1 year deal. Then Jerry Jones entered the picture, and snatched T.O. away from the Broncos. 3 years later we could be reliving history, only this time, if he visits the Broncos, he may stay put.
So let's look at the Broncos current WR situation. You have one of the most underrated slot receivers in the league in Brandon Stokley, you have a great #2/slot receiver in Eddie Royal, you have a guy that McDaniels brought in from New England in Jabar Gaffney, and then you have Brandon Marshall. Baby T.O., who could be facing a 4-8 game suspension this season depending on what Goodell sees in Marshall's latest mishap. So while Marshall is serving his suspension, where is the #1 receiver to step in his place?
Now let me break out the question...
Who would be a better replacement to Baby T.O. for that 4-8 game span, than T.O. himself? And I know a lot of you may be thinking, well what happens after that 4-8 games? Then what do the Broncos do with Owens? Well. Let me put it this way, Eddie Royal will be used in the slot, and rarely will he be split out wide in McDaniels system. Therefore, regardless of whether Marshall is suspended for a lengthy period of time or not, the Broncos need a #2 receiver that can step in and be a #1 receiver for a few games. Owens brings that.
In fact, Owens brings a lot of things. Outside of his selfishness, and glamor, his love for himself, and his catch phrases, Owens does bring his "A" game every Sunday. He doesn't take plays off, he gives 110% every play. Now whether it's for the good of the team, or just for his reputation is debatable, but the fact of the matter is that he is a football player. And he loves doing what he's doing. He loves competing, and doing his dog gone best(Brian Dawkins reference) to go out and make plays.
If McDaniels brings him in, and convinces him that he will get significant playing time, significant looks from the QB, and is guaranteed at least 75 balls this season, then I could see Owens signing a deal with no hesitation.
In fact, McDaniels theme of the offseason thus far, seems to be the logic that he wants to win RIGHT NOW. No excuses. So what makes you think that he won't go out and make an offer to the 35 year old wideout? After all, he did just sign a 35 year old safety. Keep in mind that the 35 year old wideout, and the 35 year old safety use to be teammates. How good of a relationship that they had as teammates has yet to be seen, but they were teammates none-the-less.
Here's something to think about. When New England traded for Randy Moss in 2007, he was under a lot of scrutiny. A lot of people felt as if he was a cancer to a team. A lot of people thought his game had fell off. A lot of question marks in general surrounded Moss, but that did not stop Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, from taking a shot at the guy.
So now here's a similar situation in place, only replace Moss with Owens. We also have a Bill Belichick disciple leading the Denver Broncos organization. If Bill Belichick was willing to take a chance on a receiver that would bring a lot of baggage, what would prevent a predecessor of Bill Belichick to do the same thing?
And here's another thought, if owner Pat Bowlen was going to allow T.O. to come into Denver after he just single handedly dismantled the Eagles team and created a highly disfunctional family, there in Philly. What makes you think that he won't allow T.O. to come into Denver right now?
Honestly, there are a good number of upset Dallas Cowboy fans, and for good reason. T.O., in Dallas, really didn't cause much stir as far as the locker room. I think the release of Owens was between Jerry Jones, and himself. It was a power trip. It was personal. I think the relationship between Jones and Owens was a bad relationship, and I think that Jerry Jones wasn't having any of that. And even if it was going to cause his team to take a few steps backwards, he didn't want Owens on his roster next year.
So, as cancerous as Owens has been, he's never ruined a franchise in just 1 season. In fact, in 1 season with the Philadelphia Eagles, he helped bring them to a Superbowl. And in 1 season with the Dallas Cowboys, he led the league in receiving touchdowns with 13, and statistically had one of his best seasons as a pro.
Here's my thoughts on things... Sign Owens to a 1 year deal. Let Owens be Owens on the field, and just keep him in line off of it. There are a number of potentially good things that could come out of this. And there are a number of potentially bad things that could come out of this. But sometimes, to get reward, you have to take a risk. If anything, this would be a tremendous stop gap for the Broncos until they can find that true #2 receiver that can bring a lot of positive aspects to the field. The Broncos could find an eventual replacement to Owens in the draft this year, and that receiver could study the playbook, and learn from one of the best WRs of all time(Bad attitude or not, you can't dispute that).
Finally, I'm going to leave you with this thought. For the first 4-8 games of the season, how does a lineup of Owens, and Gaffney split left and right, with Royal in the slot left, and Stokley in the slot right sound? And better yet, for the final 8-12 games of the season, how does a lineup of Marshall and Owens split left and right, with Royal in the slot left, and Stokley in the slot right with an occasional dose of Jabar Gaffey sound?
Think about it, Denver.
And while you're thinking about it, I'll be getting my popcorn ready.