Does Chicago Reallly Want The “T.O. Show?”

Terrell Owens the 37 {soon to be 38} year old free-agent, controversial, arrogant, flashy, self-centered, superficial, reality star/wide receiver has been offered a contract by the Chicago Rush. T.O. {As he likes to be called} has been playing pro football since 1995. He started his elaborate career with the San Francisco 49ers, he has been productive since day 1 but not without controversy. In 2000 he was part of the conspiracy {in my opinion} to get Jerry Rice out of San Fran.

In 2003, Owens made no secret of his dislike for then 49ers QB Jeff Garcia. The two exchanged heated words throughout the season both on the field and in the locker room. It was also during the 2003 season that T.O. made it known that he no longer wanted to be a part of the 49ers organization. His exit strategy from the Bay Area did not go as planned. He had a clause in his contract that would allow him to void the final year of his deal to become a free agent.

His agent just needed to file a certain piece of paperwork in order for that to happen. Only problem is, the agent representing him at that time did not file that paperwork by the deadline. When that happened Owens fired that agent and hired the super agent Drew Rosenhaus as a replacement. Then Owens and Rosenhaus went on a huge media blitz demanding that the 49ers trade T.O. to Philadelphia so he can play along side Donovan McNabb who was Philly’s quarterback at the time.

However knowing that the 49ers were scheduled to play the Eagles during the 2004 season, Niners management traded the disgruntled Owens to the Baltimore Ravens much to the dismay of Owens and his agent. Owens made it known that he refused to play with then Ravens Quarterback Kyle Boller. Owens felt that Boller was not a proven NFL quarterback {Which would turn out to be more than true}, Owens also said that he wasn’t a fan of Ray Lewis.

After those comments, the Ravens front office was more than happy to give into the demand to trade T.O. to Philadelphia. Once Owens got his wish, he continued to bad mouth Baltimore. During the pre-season opener of the 2004 season, the Ravens played the Eagles at home. Owens was targeted by the Ravens defense, but T.O. only played 1 series. That series only consisted of 1 play, which happened to be a 54 yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb to Terell Owens who easily outran the Ravens defense.

Owens was pulled from the game immediately. Owens had the best season of his career in 2004, well that was the case until he broke his ankle against the Dallas Cowboys in week 15 of the ’04 season. It appeared that he would be on the shelf for quite some time, but somehow he was able to suit up for the Eagles in Super Bowl 39. Claiming to be “Healed by God who is the greatest doctor in the world”, Owens caught 9 passes for 122 yards in a losing effort.

After the super bowl loss Owens began another media blitz. This time he was seeking to restructure his contract with the Eagles to gain more money so he can be one of top 10 highest paid receivers in the NFL. The Eagles never caved in, not even after Owens held out all offseason workouts and minicamps. Owens did report to training camp in 2005 but only did so after he was told to do so by Drew Rosenhaus.

During the first week of camp, T.O. was sent home for his disruptive behavior. He was disrespectful to coaches and other team personnel, he picked fights with his teammates {especially Donovan McNabb}, he refused to obey instructions, and bad mouthed the team and the organization to the media every chance he got. The day he was sent home, Terell decided to have a media circus in his driveway. While bad mouthing the team and demanding more money, T.O. did so by doing situps and lifting weights in his driveway while wearing his bluetooth earpiece.

At the end of the session, Owens demanded to be traded or released if he wasn’t granted a new contract. The Eagles suspended Owens, but the suspension was lifted after he issued an apology to the team. The Eagles struggled during the 2005 season finishing 5-11. But midway through the year, Owens was deactivated by the team for continuing to cause problems in the Eagles locker room. Once the 2005 season concluded the Eagles released Owens.

Just before offseason workouts began for the 2006 season, the Dallas Cowboys took a chance on Owens and signed him. He would play for the Cowboys through the 2008 season. But after constant confrontations with Bill Parcells and Wade Phillips {Dallas’ 2 head coaches during his time there}, not to mention another media blitz lashing out at Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo and Tight End Jason Whitten. Jerry Jones had enough and did not pick up the option on T.O.’s contract.

The 2009 season saw Owens take his act to Buffalo to play for the Bills. 2009 was probably the most disappointing season of his career. Not only was he not much of an offensive factor for the Bills, he also had some nagging injuries. After the ’09 campaign, both the Bills and T.O. were eager to part ways. In late July of 2010 the Cincinnati Bengals became the latest team to give Owens a shot. This time he was paired with another controversial wide receiver in Chad Johnson {I will not call him Ochocinco}.

Former Bengals Quarterback Carson Palmer was hoping to have the greatest season of his career. That did not happen. The Bengals struggled greatly, and before seasons end T.O. found himself on the injured reserve list for the first time in his career. Owens needed orthoscopic surgery on the meniscus in his left knee. While recovering from this injury he sustained a torn ACL in the same knee. A major operation was required and thus resulting the Bengals not offering him a contract for 2011. Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson have also departed Cincinnati.

As of this week, it appears that Owens has fully recovered. He held a public workout and invited both the media and NFL teams to watch and evaluate. The media showed up in drones, 0 yes I said 0 NFL teams showed up. On Wednesday the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League offered T.O. a contract. As per league rules, the terms of the contract are not disclosed. But I can guarantee you if he takes the offer he will not make as much money as he would make in the NFL.

Now aside from Owens’ well documented personal issues, this is what the Chicago Rush would get should Owens sign the contract:

1,078 receptions

15,934 yards

153 touchdowns

He also averaged 14.8 yards per catch

Owens also still has decent speed and not to mention he also one of the strongest and most agile wide receivers to play the game. However Owens does not like to block, he always needs to be the star of the team, he demands the ball on every play, and he is not afraid to create conflict. Rush Head Coach Bob McMillan is the toughest guy ever to play arena football, I would sure hope that he would not tolerate T.O.’s crap.

Now aside from the financial aspect, here are the adjustments that Owens would have to make should he choose to join the Rush:

The field is smaller {50 yards}, the fans have access, players are required to meet and greet fans after games, and the AFL has much stricter rules than the NFL. Then there is the fact that Terell Owens may have to learn to play defense. Unless they make him an offensive specialist {Only playing wide receiver}, he would have to learn to play defensive back or linebacker. And I cannot see Owens playing defense, the recent episode of Necessary Roughness does not count. As of late Owens has obviously been injury prone, but age could be a factor in that aspect.

I can understand why the Rush would make this decision. As much of an A-hole Terell Owens can be, he is a star attraction. This will boost ticket sales and media coverage for the Rush for the 2012 season. This will also boost media coverage of the AFL as a whole. Merchandise sales will also boost as well. If Owens can learn to adjust to the indoor game he could be productive. But I just don’t think it’s worth the headaches and problems.

The Rush have been to the playoffs every year since its inception in 2001, and they did it with lesser known wide receivers. This is a huge gamble for the Rush, I just hope they can prepare themselves for potential disappointment. If I don’t want Terell Owens to play for the Bears, why would I want him to play for the Rush?

By Blogga Gabe Salgado

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