Owens to Bills -- Anyone see this coming?

March, 7, 2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

You had to know Terrell Owens was going to land somewhere in 2009, but most of us didn't think it would happen this quickly. I was actually pulling for Oakland to sign him because the Raiders play at Dallas this season.

Owens leads in big plays
Terrell Owens' numbers may be on the decline, but he still has a knack for making plays when it counts:
Yards/Catch, 3rd Down (2008, min. 5 rec)
Player YPC
Devery Henderson 25.6
Terrell Owens 25.5
Justin Gage 24.9
Demetrius Williams 23.4
Bernard Berrian 22.6
3rd Down 30+ Yard Rec (2008)
Player 30+ Yard Rec
Terrell Owens 5
Steve Smith 4
Devery Henderson 4
Bernard Berrian 4
Greg Jennings 4
Vincent Jackson 4
30+ Yard TD (2006-08)
Player 30+ Yard TD
Terrell Owens 15
Bernard Berrian 12
Randy Moss 10
Greg Jennings 10
Lee Evans 10
Steve Smith 10
-- Compiled by ESPN Stats and Information

But T.O. will be in a Buffalo Bills uniform in '09. I can't get used to writing that sentence. The fact that he signed with Buffalo tells us what we already figured: There wasn't much of a market for him. AFC East blogger Tim Graham on ESPNEWS called it a "marriage of desperation," which sounds pretty accurate to me.

ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli said on ESPNEWS that Bills owner Ralph Wilson was the impetus for this improbable marriage. Pasquarelli said he talked to a Bills coach who expressed shock over the move. Honestly, it just goes against this organization's nature. But, in this economy, maybe the Bills are feeling more pressure than ever to add some juice.

Here's what T.O.'s agent Drew Rosenhaus said on ESPNEWS:

"[T.O.'s] a good fit from a standpoint of trying to make a statement, trying to make a move. ... They want to add a superstar to the mix and he's a great fit."

Rosenhaus praised Bills quarterback Trent Edwards and Buffalo's receiving corps. He also said that T.O. was "very impressed" with the coaching staff. And in a classic Rosenhaus moment, he took a parting shot at the Dallas Cowboys by pointing out that his client would make $800,000 more than he would have made with his former team.

"[Owens] thanks the Cowboys organization for releasing him and adding to his bank account," said Rosenhaus.

Way to stay classy, Drew. The agent also pointed out that "three or four" other teams were vying for T.O.'s services, and said that's why the Bills made such a competitive offer. As you might expect, Rosenhaus declined to name the "three or four" teams.



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