Five reasons why T.O. will work in Cincy
July, 27, 2010
By James Walker | ESPN.com
Marc Serota/Getty ImagesTerrell Owens and the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal.
The Cincinnati Bengals forged an interesting marriage Tuesday by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract with enigmatic receiver Terrell Owens. This will mark the first time Owens and fellow flamboyant receiver Chad Ochocinco are on the same team, creating a potential circus atmosphere for Cincinnati.
But here are five reasons why the Owens acquisition will work out well for the Bengals this season:
1. Owens won't be the No. 1 receiver
AP Photo/Orlin WagnerTerrell Owens made 55 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns last season with the Bills.
Analysis: Ochocinco is the top receiver in Cincinnati and is four years younger than Owens, who is 36. At this stage of Owens' career, he can no longer carry the load by himself. But Owens is still good enough to be a solid option as a No. 2 receiver. Cincinnati had trouble passing the ball over the middle last year, and Owens should help. He is strong enough to make short catches and break tackles for bigger gains. With Ochocinco going over the top of the defense, it should be a good combination.
2. The Bengals are contenders
Analysis: Winning matters. The Bengals are the defending AFC North champs and are expected to compete for that same crown again this season. The Bengals are looking to add onto last year's playoff appearance, and that has to be music to Owens' ears after playing in Buffalo. He is approaching the end of his career and needs to be in a winning situation to get the best out of him. As long as the Bengals are successful and Owens is contributing, look for Owens to fall in line.
3. The Bengals have plenty of experience with brash WRs
Analysis: What better way to prepare for Owens' arrival than to have years and years of Ochocinco? The two are very good friends and similar in the type of attention they draw in the locker room. Sure, sometimes they may go overboard with antics and entertainment. But it's not as if the Bengals haven't had to deal with that before.
4. Carson Palmer
Analysis: After working out with Palmer this offseason, Owens already has the backing of Cincinnati's franchise quarterback. That will go a long way toward getting Owens instant credibility in the Bengals' locker room. Owens didn't have a quality quarterback to get him the football last year with the Buffalo Bills. Expect that to change this season with Palmer.
5. The AFC North has secondary questions
Analysis: The Baltimore Ravens' secondary is banged up. The Cleveland Browns have young corners and safeties, and the Pittsburgh Steelers still have work to do to get back to their 2008 form. Adding Owens will help strengthen Cincinnati and take advantage of other division teams' weaknesses. The Bengals were at their best passing the ball when T.J. Houshmandzadeh was able to take advantage of Ochocinco being double-teamed. Now AFC North defenses will have to consider bringing back that strategy. Overall, adding Owens for one year -- at their price -- was a good move by the Bengals.