The League

Les Carpenter
Staff Writer

Les Carpenter

Yahoo! Sports reporter and former NFL writer for The Washington Post.

Terrell and the Jets?

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So where does T.O go?

The inclination this morning is to say Washington because Terrell Owens has exactly what the Redskins need: height, speed, the ability to roam over the middle, a familiarity with the West Coast Offense and the impression that he is towering over the men trying to cover him. But the Terrell Owens who could jump over cornerbacks and pull four tacklers into the end zone is gone now, replaced by a good but no longer spectacular receiver. Washington has had enough veteran free agents break down in recent years to sully its locker room with Owens' tempestuous personality. The last thing quarterback Jason Campbell needs is his new top receiver screaming in the huddle. Nor will he be any help to the young receivers who are in desperate need of a good example. And since Coach Jim Zorn already has one undercutting prima donna on his offense in Clinton Portis, there is no room for another.

Then if not the Redskins, then who?

Much like Manny Ramirez in baseball, Owens will not find a robust market despite his Hall of Fame career. His diminished skills no longer make him elite. His personality is so overbearing, so difficult to manage that few teams will view him as worth the trouble. The NFL is a league in transition right now. Gone are many of the game's most powerful coaches. Men who could have handled Owens, like Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren or Mike Shanahan are no longer in the league, at least not this year. Not many general managers are going to force Owens on an inexperienced coach.

Several clubs could use him. Tampa Bay has tons of cap room and is desperate for a game-changing receiver. But the fit seems unlikely even if Jeff Garcia (who was mocked by Owens after they played together in San Francisco) doesn't return. Tampa Bay will likely turn to a young quarterback, perhaps from the draft. It would be unfair to stick a young quarterback with Owens. Indianapolis, looking to fill a void left by the release of Marvin Harrison could use Owens. Quarterback Peyton Manning would handle him as well as anyone but the Colts might not want to upset their delicate chemistry that has served them so well. The same goes for the Ravens who might be a dynamic offensive player short of the Super Bowl. The risks are too great.

Thus Owens best hope might be Oakland. Raiders Owner Al Davis has always been infatuated with great, ranging receivers who can spread the game downfield. Certainly Owens would be a wonderful target for JaMarcus Russell. Yet Oakland is a mess and if Owens desperately wants that one last chance at a Super Bowl ring, he won't get it with the Raiders.

Which leaves one intriguing possibility: the Jets. With Laveranues Coles leaving through free agency, New York does not have a true receiving threat. The Jets have proven they will take on aging stars as evidenced by last year's signing of Brett Favre and new coach Rex Ryan seems like exactly the man who could not only deal with Owens outrageous personality, but make it a positive. And for Owens, who loves the spotlight, what better place to shine than on Broadway? Sure it's a lot to throw on Kellen Clemens, who will apparently take on the starting quarterback role left by Favre, yet the Jets nearly won the AFC East last year. Terrell Owens might just be the piece to get them over the top.

By Les Carpenter  |  March 5, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  | Category:  Dallas Cowboys , New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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no way.

Posted by: capemh | March 5, 2009 10:42 PM

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