Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tough to imagine Owens in the NFC North


Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

On the surface, at least, the NFC North doesn't appear to be a likely destination for newly-released Dallas receiver Terrell Owens. (The bigger question: Will he find any destination in 2009?) In Black and Blue terms, Owens' personal history would intersect with some low-impact free agent philosophies. Let me explain:

Chicago: Bears general manager Jerry Angelo told the team Web site Wednesday that he planned to look for receivers in the draft rather than on the free agent market. The money given to free agent receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Angelo said, was "exorbitant" for a player approaching his 32nd birthday. That statement came before Owens was released, and Owens -- who turns 36 in December -- couldn't command Houshmandzadeh money. The Bears make the most sense for Owens in this division, but his addition would still be a departure from Angelo's current approach.

Detroit: The Lions are using their $35 million in cap space to sign handfuls of credible players to fill the gaps on their roster. They're not yet in the mode of expecting one player to put them over the top. It might sound attractive to pair Owens with budding superstar Calvin Johnson. But the Lions likely will draft a quarterback at some point in April, and the last thing they would want is to expose him to Owens', shall we say, eccentricities. And I question whether Owens would be interested in enduring the Lions' rebuilding process.

Green Bay: The Packers already have a strong situation at receiver with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Why risk that chemistry and production by adding Owens? More to the point, what about general manager Ted Thompson's approach suggests he would seek out a 35-year-old receiver? The Packers haven't made an impact signing on the free agent market in three years, and it's hard to imagine Owens changing that trend.

Minnesota: Owens clashed repeatedly with Vikings coach Brad Childress when the pair were in Philadelphia. According to an oft-repeated, but possibly apocryphal story, Owens told Childress not to speak to him during his final season with the Eagles. Childress responded by going out of his way to say "Hi," to Owens every day. It would be a stunner if the pair reunited.