Sunday, March 8, 2009

Terrell Owens: Goodbye Dallas, Hello Buffalo (and Toronto)

Yesterday, the Buffalo Bills took a gamble and signed wide receiver Terrell Owens to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million.

Three days earlier, Owens (a.k.a. T.O.) had been released by the Dallas Cowboys after three seasons. T.O. has played in the NFL for 13 seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and the Cowboys.

The 35-year-old is one of the game's greatest talents but is also known for his selfishness and showboating. He is second on the NFL all-time list in touchdown receptions with 139 (Jerry Rice is first with 197.) However, he has a long record of alienating teammates and coaches. T.O. and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb did not see eye to eye especially when he suggested the team would have been better off with Brett Favre as QB. Owens was suspended by the Eagles never to play with them again.

Yet I think this is a good move for Buffalo. In 2008, the Bills got off to a great start winning their first four games. However, their success did not last and they lost 9 of their remaining 12 games to finish with a 7-9 record which has been their won loss record for the past three seasons. T.O. might be just the spark they need. Bills quarterback Trent Edwards will have someone who can catch his passes. Now the Bills just need a viable tight end to protect Edwards and T.O. It could mean reaching the NFL playoffs for the first time in a decade. And if it doesn't work out then they only have to put up with his drama for one season. In the grand scheme of things the Bills don't have that much to lose by taking on T.O.

If nothing else it will give Buffalo fans a reason to sit out in the cold. Canadian NFL fans will also have an opportunity to see T.O. as the Bills will play one regular season game in Toronto's Rogers Centre for the next five years. In other words, football fans will care about Bills again.

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