Terrell Owens, one of the great showboat receivers in NFL history (and also one of its most statistically accomplished) is a Seahawk — for now, having signed with the club Monday. There is no guarantee he’ll stick, but he will get a chance to compete for a roster spot after being out of the NFL for 19 months. Owens is 38 years old, which makes him an antique past his productive prime.
In 2011, just three NFL receivers 35 years old or older had at least 30 catches. Green Bay’s 36-year-old Donald Driver had 37 with six TDs, 35-year-old Hines Ward 46 with two TDs and 35-year-old Tony Gonzalez 80 and seven TDs.
Owens did not receive any offers to play in the NFL in 2011 following surgery on his left knee. Owens also infamously failed to stick with his last club, the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, not only losing his job last May but an ownership stake in the team.
But if an NFL comeback is possible, Owens has come to the right place. Right now, only Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Doug Tate can be considered locks to make the roster, and Rice might not be able to start the season due to a pair of off-season shoulder surgeries.
Even with that, Owens is not a roster lock. His contract is not guaranteed. Other sources told ESPN’s Ed Werder that Owens received a one-year deal worth $1 million on a make-good basis.
After signing with Seattle Monday night, Owens took to his Twitter account saying, “God is good. Thankful. Grateful. To ALL my new teammates & the “12th Man” . . . Let’s Do This!”
What the Seahawks hope is that Owens (or anyone else who might walk in off the street) can provide a more physical presence to the wide receiver position, much the way Mike Williams, recently released, did in 2010. If Owens, reportedly in great shape (Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer vouched for that), cannot, the Seahawks haven’t lost anything, as Charley Casserly of NFL.com suggested.
“I am more concerned about his ability to stay healthy this year than I am about the other two experienced receivers (Chad Johnson in Miami, Randy Moss in San Francisco),” said Casserly. “He could end up having a good year, though, because fellow Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice has been prone to injury and Seattle’s quarterback will need somebody to throw to.”
“We’re thrilled to have him come out here and have him battle,” said head coach Pete Carroll. “So, I’m just going to give himself a chance to prove it.”