With our fellow newshound Chad Ochocinco reporting that Terrell Owens is joining him, you have to wonder about smoke and you have to wonder about fire.
As the good folks at ProFootballTalk.com have pointed out, The Ocho can get a little carried away on Twitter. What we do know is that there is no deal. But we also know there has been a lot of smoke in the last 18 hours and where there’s smoke…
What seems to be going on is that Owens and agent Drew Rosenhaus are going into overdrive to get Owens into a training camp by the time it starts. The Bengals have a good relationship with Rosenhaus and they, no doubt, are being polite and taking each other’s calls about a number of issues. After the Bengals signed Antonio Bryant in March, the club moved on but never ruled out Owens and Rosenhaus thanked the Bengals but never ruled them out, either. Both said it was unlikely.
Now with the camps right around the corner, it seems as if taking a phone call is as good as a contract. But it’s not. Not yet. Will it? As we said earlier, things change. The guess here is that if it happens, it is going to be before the Bengals report to Georgetown on Wednesday.
The evidence still suggests more smoke than fire. While Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, like any NFL head man, isn’t beyond throwing up some deceptive flares, he was asked this week point blank about T.O. and he said he’s not looking to add at wide receiver.
Privately, the Bengals are saying they’re not looking to do it. They would prefer to give the shots to kids like Jerome Simpson and Dez Briscoe and not turn to a 36-year-old when they have a 32-year-old receiver on the other side.
And while the Bengals coaches have been very impressed with Owens on film last year with the Bills and believe he can still run, he doesn’t provide the greatest fit for a roster that is looking for at least a punt returner and maybe more from its wide receivers on special teams. But then again, cornerback Adam Jones could be the punt returner if the Bengals think they can count on him.
And, hey, special teams is special teams. In Owens, you’re talking about a guy that has scored more touchdowns than anyone playing.
Could the Bengals sign him? Could they change their minds?
Sure. Go back to 2008 when they had no plans in July to re-sign Chris Henry in August. They didn’t know that Chad Ochocinco and Andre Caldwell would get hurt in a preseason game and be sidelined for a few weeks. Or that T.J. Houshmandzadeh wouldn’t practice all camp with a hamstring problem. And it turned out that Simpson was no match for a quick transition from Division II.
So, yeah, it could change.
Maybe they never thought Owens would still be sitting there.
We know that T.O. didn’t burn any bridges when the Bengals opted for Bryant. Word was his heart was set on joining a big-time quarterback and his good friend Ocho and when it didn’t happen he was quite emotional. But he sent a very classy tweet thanking everyone in the organization, starting from the top with Bengals president Mike Brown.
It could also not change.
We will soon know. If both parties want to do it, they’ll want to reserve a bed at Georgetown for him.
Tags: T.O. talk, Terrell Owens
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