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The Rant

Memo to NFL teams: Don't be afraid to trade for T.O.

Posted: Thursday January 12, 2006 10:33AM; Updated: Thursday January 12, 2006 10:37AM
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Even though the regular season is over, the Web still needs to fill its quota of Terrell Owens columns, so it's time to talk about the NFL's most controversial player once again.

News has recently circulated that the Eagles will try to trade Owens. It'll be interesting to see how many teams would want to take a chance on adding the volatile star, who can disrupt and destroy a locker room at any time. But one thing that should not get lost in the Owens sweepstakes (if it'll actually be that) is his ability on the field. He's still one of the best three or four wide receivers in the NFL, and anyone who thinks he can't help a team just because he's not a choir boy is fooling themselves. I know it's easy to focus on his antics, but it seems more and more people are forgetting that he is a great -- not good, great -- football player, who can single-handedly win games.

I'm specifically talking about Dolphins wideout Chris Chambers, who recently told the Miami Herald, "If you have another star receiver, it would cause more controversy. Marty Booker is an excellent receiver ... We have [tight end] Randy McMichael. We already have the pieces here. I don't see a reason to go get a big-time receiver."

Now listen, anyone can list Owens' negative traits and nobody can argue them. There is no defense. However, let's not also go the other way and think that you don't need a Terrell Owens because you have a Marty Booker, because that is beyond absurd (and if Chambers or anybody else thinks the Dolphins wouldn't be better with Owens, they're delusional). In just seven games last season, Owens had 47 catches, 763 yards and six TDs. And just in case anyone forgot, the previous season T.O. played in 14 games, caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and scored 14 touchdowns.

There isn't one NFL team out there who couldn't use a player who puts up those numbers. And while adding Owens is a definite risk, I say it's one worth taking, especially if you are on the cusp of being a championship team.

Owens may implode sooner or later, but I'd bet it's later. Even Owens knows he better be on his best behavior next season. He'll basically be on probation. He might even be motivated to quiet his critics. If that's the case, I can't imagine the stats he'd accumulate. And NFL teams would be foolish to pass them up, especially clubs on the brink of going to the next level. Because when it comes down to it, Owens is still one of the best players in the league and there are teams out there that need him.