In the latest twist and turn for the Seattle Seahawks, the club announced they had agreed to a one year deal with Terrell Owens, worth a reported $1 million. It’s a surprising move for the team on several levels and we can’t help but wonder what the thought process was that led to this move. Let’s take a look at how this could be either a good or terrible move for the Seahawks in 2012.
Owens is no stranger to catching the football. He’s grabbed 1.078 passes in the regular season, which is good for sixth all-time. He’s second all-time in receiving yards (15.934) and receiving touchdowns (153), has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in a season nine times and scored double digit touchdowns in eight different seasons. He’ll be a proven veteran presence for a Seattle offense that is lacking in a viable threat: second-year receiver Doug Baldwin led the team in receptions last year with 51 as a rookie.
Owens showed that he still can play at a high level when he was with the Bengals in 2010. During that season, he caught 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns playing opposite Chad Johnson (Chad Ochocinco at the time). He was productive earlier this season playing in the Indoor Football League with the Allen Wranglers, catching 35 passes for 421 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games while adapting to the rules and shorter field of the indoor game. He still is a physical specimen at 6’3 and 226 pounds, reportedly running a 4.5 second 40 yard dash at his workout for the Seahawks.
Let’s start with the obvious: Owens didn’t play in the league last season after recovering from knee surgery and turns 39 in December. He hasn’t caught a pass in the NFL since December 12, 2010 and while he played well in the IFL; it’s easy to score touchdowns against guys who are working at Bob’s Burger Shack when they aren’t playing football. Lining up against the best that the sport has to offer is a completely different game.
That leads us to the second major sticking point: Owens is a prima donna who is known for acting like a child. He’s played for five teams in his career; the Seahawks will mark his sixth stop in the league. It will be his fourth team in the last five seasons, one of which he did not play in due to injury. That means that should he make the team, it will be his fourth consecutive season with a new club. That is not an encouraging sign for a team that is full of young receivers like Baldwin, Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu.
You have to factor in the fact that the Seahawks have never been confused with a prolific passing offense as well. Seattle has cracked the top ten in the league for passing yards twice since 2003, finishing 19th or worse three of the past four seasons. Quarterback Matt Flynn is an improvement over Tarvaris Jackson but is entering his first season as a starting quarterback. He didn’t have big numbers in college at LSU and spent most of his NFL career backing up Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. The Seahawks are predominantly run-oriented behind Marshawn Lynch and Owens will have to be content with the targets that come his way.
Is the signing of Owens a smart move by the Seahawks or a mistake waiting to happen?