Without a clear cut No. 2 receiver (assuming you're even willing to slap the team's No. 1 designation on Sidney Rice), Seattle turned its focus toward finding a big body to serve as another target for likely starting quarterback Matt Flynn. Edwards was the first to sign and he brings some baggage, but the Owens signing is particularly puzzling, even if it requires little financial risk.
Owens worked out for the Seahawks on Monday, and he was offered a contract — reportedly worth one year and $1 million — soon after. As is the case with anything T.O.-related, everyone has begun dissecting the move, grappling with whether the 38-year-old has anything left in the tank and whether he's worth the potential risks.
The simple answer? No, he's not worth the potential trouble.
In Owens, we're talking about a guy who turns 39 in December and who wasn't even in the league last season. By all accounts, he's in great shape, but how many times have we heard that when it comes to veterans looking to stick around the game in the twilight of their careers? Being in "great shape" is one thing, but producing at a high level every Sunday for an entire season is a whole other order.
To expect major production out of Owens this season is unrealistic, which means the off-the-field stuff needs to carry a bit more weight in this instance. It'd be somewhat acceptable to overlook his propensity for stirring up controversy if he was T.O. circa the early 2000s, but at this stage of his career, it's hard to put a finger on why exactly a team would even bother going through the whole circus.
Even if Owens still has some game left in him, this is a man who was just booted from the Indoor Football League team that he had an ownership stake in. And it wasn't because of some minor misunderstanding. Jon Frankel, owner of the Allen Wranglers (the team that Owens was released from) cited a "lack of effort both on and off the field" as reasoning for the move. That's concerning, 1. because the criticism stems partly because Owens skipped out on a charity event, and 2. because it was really the first time Owens' on-field effort has ever been questioned.
Through all his faults, Owens has always been a competitor between the lines. No performance proved that like the receiver's play in Super Bowl XXXIX, when he caught nine passes for 122 yards despite team doctors advising him that his severely sprained ankle and fractured fibula were not yet healed. So when Frankel released his statement, many (myself included) considered Owens' football days to be over. Why would a team roll the dice on a beleagured wideout whose one redeeming quality was now being called into question as well?
Yet, here we stand less than three months later with Owens back in the NFL. The Seahawks are obviously looking to catch lightning in a bottle, but given that the team doesn't even have a proven quarterback, bringing in Owens makes little sense. The only instance in which you could make any sort of argument for Owens being a worthwhile risk this season would be if he was teaming up with an elite signal caller who has already shown an ability to lead .That isn't exactly what we're looking at in Seattle. (Sorry, Matt Flynn.)
The Seahawks' focus should instead be on building something out of what they already have in place. By adding more clowns to the car, they're blocking the driver's vision, and they could soon learn that's nothing to laugh about.