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Thursday, March 4, 2010
Take your pick recap

By James Walker
ESPN.com

This week the AFC North blog had a free-agency theme to our latest version of "Take your pick."

Simply put: Is receiver Terrell Owens a better fit for the Baltimore Ravens or Cincinnati Bengals?

Terrell Owens
Terrell Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five TDs last season.
With free agency starting Friday, both AFC North teams will be in the market for receivers, and Owens has been rumored as a possible target.

Here are responses from our community, along with a final say on the matter:

Ryan from Cincinnati writes: I think T.O. would be a good fit in Cincinnati, because coach Marvin Lewis would keep him under wraps with his antics but will still let him have fun on the field just like Chad Ochocinco. Plus, the Bengals need another threat in the receiving game to get the double coverage off Chad and give Carson Palmer someone else to trust to catch the ball.

Matt Leavey from Owings Mills, Md., writes: T.O. in Baltimore makes a lot of sense if the price-tag on Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall becomes too large. Frankly, I think you can make a very legitimate argument that the Ravens should have signed him last season. With Donte’ Stallworth's field-stretching ability, and Derrick Mason's intermediate route-running skills, T.O. could be the affordable home-run hitter this team needs to get over the hump now, while a young draft pick (Golden Tate?) develops.

Mike from Chicago writes: From a Steelers fan's perspective, if T.O has to end up on one of the two teams I think the Bengals would be better prepared to deal with him. Carson Palmer has experience with diva-like WRs and would be able to handle T.O. and his complaining. T.O would be the clear cut No. 2 on that team and would know that coming into the season. If I'm the Ravens I want nothing to do with him. They have a young talented QB (Joe Flacco) who is still developing. I don't believe pairing him with an declining diva receiver would not benefit him in the long term.

April from Baltimore writes: In response to this weeks "Take your pick," I'm not completely sure how I feel about T.O. to Baltimore. He burned us before, even though I don't blame the guy for not wanting to play with Kyle Boller as QB. I still think he has something left and is better than Mark Clayton. But T.O. drops a lot of balls. Toss up.

Harry from College Park, Md., writes: As a huge Ravens fan, I hope T.O. ends up in Cincy. I feel like putting two huge diva receivers--T.O. and Ochocinco--who are on the decline will only serve to bring the Bengals back down to the rest of the division. Also, adding T.O. to Ochocinco sounds like debt consolidation.

Manny from Seattle, Wash., writes: I could see T.O. fitting in with the Bengals perfectly. The passing game would be back to the old success they had with T.J. Houshmandzadeh and maybe even better.

Pete from Baltimore writes: Terrell Owens is definitely a better fit for the Cincinnati Bengals. First, he's already buddies with Chad Ochocinco, and the team has run straight through other character issues. So T.O.'s history of being a locker room headache will, at the very least, be less of a problem in Cincinnati than in other places. Second, the Ravens tried to get him several years back and had him before he ended up in Philadelphia. The fans hate him. A lot don't want him. Either way, he's what these teams need talent-wise, but I'm guessing the Bengals could deal with his problems better than the Ravens can.

AFC North final say

James Walker: The jury has spoken as an overwhelming amount of readers believe Owens is a better fit in Cincinnati. I agree with the majority. The Bengals do not need a No. 1 receiver, because they already have one in Ochocinco. That would allow Owens to come in without the pressure of being the go-to guy at this stage of his career. On the field, that is a great scenario he cannot get in Baltimore. The biggest concern, as usual, is whether a team like the Bengals can handle Owens off the field and in the locker room. Palmer is not a loud leader, and the team overall is pretty young. But with good friend Ochocinco there, and the team expected to be a contender in 2010, that may not be an issue for Owens.

If you have any future "Take your pick" ideas, feel free to send a note to our division inbox or the AFC North Twitter feed.