Is Terrell Owens Worth Drafting?
Terrell Owens is back. The Seattle Seahawks were the first NFL team to cave. It took a full season without us all getting our popcorn ready, but the 38-year old phenom has re-entered our lives, and considering Seattle’s shaky wide receiving corps, there’s a pretty good chance he’s here to stay for at least a year.
After all, the Seahawks really didn’t have much certainty at receiver. Sidney Rice is a special talent, but he was limited to nine games in 2011 due to head and labrum injuries. In fact, he had surgeries on both shoulders this off-season, and still isn’t a lock to be healthy for week one. Or stay healthy, for that matter, as the guy has finished 16 games in a season just once. In fact, he’s missed 17 of his last 32 games. That’s what we call unreliable.
And then there’s third-year pro Golden Tate. He was supposed to develop into a starter last year, but even with Rice off the field for half the year, he just couldn’t get it done. The only guy on this entire roster the Seahawks can truly count on at receiver is Doug Baldwin, and he’s only entering his second season.
This is why Antonio Bryant was relevant for a week. Same reason why Braylon Edwards is a Seahawk now, too. When you add it all up, you can’t really be all that surprised that Seattle took the plunge and added the soon-to-be 39 year old wide receiver.
After all, they’ve got a three-way quarterback battle. How are they ever supposed to really know who their best guy under center is, if they can’t even formulate a decent group of receivers? Owens helps solve that second problem. Yes, he’s a short-term fix, and yes he could blow up in their face.
But the last time he went to a new city with everyone doubting him, he put up 900+ yards and nine touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals in just 14 games.
Owens doesn’t make the Seahawks Super Bowl contenders. He doesn’t even make them playoff contenders. What he does make them, however, is a little more fantasy relevant. One thing T.O. has always done is put up quality fantasy numbers, and if he has a good role and a competent quarterback throwing him the ball in Seattle, there really isn’t much reason to think he won’t again in 2011.
Unlike a lot of people, I like Matt Flynn as a starter in this league. He doesn’t have a rocket arm or elite athleticism, but he is accurate, leads well, and knows the West Coast Offense. I’m even high on rookie Russell Wilson, who has terrible size for the NFL, but has the arm, accuracy and athleticism you otherwise would covet. As long as one of those two is the starting quarterback come week one, I don’t hate Seattle’s potential in the passing game.
Insert Owens, a healthy Sidney Rice and Baldwin working out of the slot, and you suddenly have a start-studded group. And if Rice isn’t healthy, just replace him with Braylon Edwards if he can prove he belongs on the team.
On paper, this could work. On paper, T.O. is still a fantasy asset. But until we can see the popcorn popping right before our eyes, he’s a borderline WR3 or WR4, just like Randy Moss. I’ll start taking him late in fantasy drafts, and if he looks like his normal self in the preseason, I’ll start reaching a little higher. I don’t expect 1,300+ yards or 15 touchdowns, even if T.O. had a dream season. But if he’s really able to run a 4.4 40 like he did in Seattle’s workout, and if he can nail down a starting job, he certainly has the ability to get back to where he was with the Bengals in 2010. And believe it or not, that would make him a rock solid WR2.
Again, we’re not there yet. But as T.O. himself would say…better get that popcorn ready.