Thursday, April 4, 2013
Memo to Patriots: Say no to T.O.
By James Walker
Wide receiver Terrell Owens is working out in Southern California this week with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Owens has been out of the NFL since 2010 and is desperately looking for work. Chances are, Owens is in Brady's ear and letting the powerful Patriot know he can still play.
The Patriots also have a need at receiver after losing both starters from 2012. Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker bolted to the Denver Broncos in free agency, and Brandon Lloyd was released before the Patriots paid him a $3 million bonus.
Still, the Patriots' answer is simple: New England should unquestionably say no to T.O.
Even if Brady provides head coach Bill Belichick a glowing review, New England shouldn't even think twice about acquiring the 16-year veteran. At age 39, Owens is no longer worth the added attention he would bring to New England.
Remember the Chad Johnson experiment? The Patriots recently went down this road before with Johnson, who is Owens’ good friend.
Belichick took in Johnson and demanded that he keep his mouth shut and just play football. The muzzled version of Johnson was never comfortable in New England and flamed out after just one season. New England would demand the same of Owens, and staying quiet is something he's struggled with most of his career. It's simply not a good fit for Owens or the team.
Lastly, Owens is a ball hog. Even during his last season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, Owens caught 72 passes and was targeted a whopping 139 times. He averaged 137 targets per year in his last five seasons. Would Owens happily accept a limited role in New England, where he would only get a small fraction of those opportunities? Probably not.
Owens says he's matured as a teammate, and he might eventually get one more shot somewhere in the NFL. But that opportunity shouldn't come in New England.