VIA: Doug Farrar
With the Buffalo Bills’ recent announcement that they would not be interested in re-signing receiver Terrell Owens(notes), it seems that once again, T.O. is on his own. Though Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns in s very uncharacteristically under-the-radar season for him, the Bills will apparently take their relatively weapon-free offense elsewhere. You’d think that a team ranking 25th in Football Outsiders’ Passing DVOA statistic would want to extend the guy another year, especially since he didn’t seem to make an ass of himself for once, but perhaps they were aware that Owens is generally on his best behavior in the first year of any situation.
One team that has been rumored to have interest in Owens is the Baltimore Ravens, the team that has been perpetually one or two offensive weapons away from the Super Bowl for the last decade. They now have the franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco(notes), and as head coach John Harbaugh said during his Saturday press conference at the Scouting Combine, the interest is legitimate — and this is before the end of the league year, when coaches and GMs aren’t supposed to talk about upcoming free agents yet!
I’ve always said I’ve got a lot of respect for T.O. and I know (Ravens GM) Ozzie (Newsome) does too. He had a good year last year, we watched him on tape and he was very effective.
Harbaugh was then asked, why was he watching Owens on tape?
“Well, we watch everybody. You cornered me. You got me (laughs). We’re interested in T.O. We’re interested in all the guys that can make our team better. We were coming back from Iraq last year (on an NFL goodwill tour) with Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher and Tom Coughlin. We’re sitting in the airport there. And the waiter comes over and says, hey, Terrell Owens is in there at Burger King. We’re like come on. We laughed about it. He said ‘No, he’s really over there.’ So we ran over there just like fans. I guarantee we didn’t ask for autograph, but we did say hi and kind of rekindled the relationship. I think he’s a good guy and a good player.”
Does talking to T.O. in a Burger King in Iraq constitute tampering? Commissioner Roger Goodell will have to weigh in on this. In any case, the Ravens could take the flyer they tried to take on T.O. when he went from the 49ers to the Eagles in 2004 after fighting a trade that would have sent him to Baltimore. And even this many years later, the Ravens could be better for it.