Well, it’s happened. Receiver Terrell Owens has agreed to terms with the Bengals.
Per a league source, Owens will receive a base salary of $2 million. He can earn up to another $2 million in incentives.
(We reported it first, scooping even the OCNN, which put the word out several minutes after us.)
The source says that the incentives are based on receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
Given that the Bengals didn’t really have a need at the position and in light of the franchise’s reputation for being extremely careful with money, it’s a good deal for Owens. He gets more than twice the veteran minimum for a player of his experience, and though the specific triggers for the $2 million are not yet known, it’s our understanding that if he performs like he did last year in Buffalo (55 catches, 829 yards, five touchdowns), he’ll earn most of the money.
That said, the decision to tie that much money to performance could create friction, if Owens isn’t on the field as much as he believes he needs to be. But the Bengals likely know this, and the decision potentially reflects a concession that Antonio Bryant isn’t going to be what they thought he was going to be.
As Albert Breer of the Boston Globe points out via Twitter, T.O.’s regular season will begin for the second straight year with a trip to Foxborough to face the Patriots, employers of “the other 81.” As PFT points out via PFT, Owens’ preseason will begin for the second straight year with a trip to Canton to play in the Hall of Fame game, televised exclusively on NBC.
And Owens will face the Dallas Cowboys, the team that abruptly cut him after the 2008 season.
Suddenly, the first exhibition game of the year got a lot more interesting.