Will Terrell Owens start in Cincinnati?

July, 27, 2010
7/27/10
7:30
PM ET
Antonio Bryant recently signed a four-year contract with the Cincinnati Bengals worth an average of $7 million per season.

Owens
Owens
Bryant
Bryant
Terrell Owens just agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal Tuesday with the same team.

So which receiver gets the edge when it's time to name a starter?

The contracts say Bryant, but the safe money is on Owens. Bryant has been underwhelming since joining the Bengals this offseason, and his surgically-repaired knee that's coming along slower than expected is a major reason.

What's interesting is that Cincinnati chose Bryant over Owens several months ago in free agency. Now it appears the Bengals are backtracking that decision by covering those tracks and potentially making Owens the starter this year instead.

It will be interesting to see how Bryant reacts if/when he's relegated to the bench. Bryant came to Cincinnati to be the starter, and getting reduced opportunities as a No. 3 receiver isn't what Bryant signed up for.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was impressed with Owens when the two worked out together, and you have to assume Palmer lobbied to the team for a reason. Perhaps Bryant is more injured than we know and will miss time, or perhaps he's just not as good a fit as Cincinnati initially thought.

Either way, the No. 2 receiver spot in Cincinnati is now Owens' job to lose.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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