Despite recent strong indications from Washington, San Diego, and Seattle regarding the lack of interest in receiver Terrell Owens, the T.O. camp remains optimistic that he’ll have a deal, possibly within a week.
Though we can’t always take at face value the things that teams publicly say, especially since there were teams last year with interest in Mike Vick who told the world otherwise, the proximity of the recent comments from the Redskins, Chargers, and Seahawks makes it hard to ignore their positions.
Assuming that his past teams (49ers, Cowboys, Eagles, Bills) are out of the mix, along with the teams with key decision-makers who have had a bellyful of his unique brand of popcorn (Dolphins, Vikings, Chiefs), let’s look at the current possibilities, which is based on mildly educated guesswork and a hunch or two.
Ravens: If they’re paying Marc Bulger $3.8 million to serve as Joe Flacco’s understudy, they’ll be all over T.O. if Anquan Boldin or Derrick Mason suffer a knee injury early in camp. If, that is, Owens is still available.
Steelers: Believe it or not, some within the organization have at least pondered the possibility of Owens serving as a one-year transition from Santonio Holmes. Still, it would be a shock if the Steelers would pull the trigger.
Titans: He’d be a great complement to Chris Johnson; the challenge would be finding a way to click with Vince Young. (Maybe a shirtless, all-male tequila party would do the trick.)
Bears: The recent desperation they’ve displayed suggests that they should be interested, but if they were they’d already have him under contract. Desperation, however, can cause a team to make a move like this one at any given moment.
Jets: Santonio Holmes will be suspended four games to start the season, and the Jets currently are in the business of rounding up recognizable names. Owens may be willing to take a lot less money if it means playing for a high-profile team that could help launch an acting career — if he can find a way into the spotlight with guys like Braylon Edwards and Jason Taylor having similar aspirations. It’s possible that the Jets are laying in the weeds until the restrictions of the Final Eight Plan lift on July 24.
Falcons: They’ve rebuffed Owens in the past, but the desire to overtake the Saints could cause the folks in Atlanta to at least ponder the possibility of selling their souls.
Colts: Reggie Wayne isn’t happy, Anthony Gonzalez is still hurt, and Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie arguably are only as good as Peyton Manning can make them appear to be. So the Colts are another Final Eight team that could be quietly lurking — especially if Manning is privately lobbying for another weapon. Few quarterbacks can consistently contain and control T.O. Manning is one who could.
Still, at this point no one knows where this one is heading. Last year, the emergence of the Bills came as a surprise. We’ve got a feeling that the final destination for Owens in 2010 will be raise eyebrows once again.