Colts + T.O. = Super Bowl?

March 5, 2009
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toOk, it will probably never happen. But since the word 'probably' is in the previous sentence, it would be a dereliction of duty not to explore the Indianapolis Colts' possible signing of Terrell Owens. The question is, not if the move will happen, but would the move put the Colts over the top and return them to Super Bowl glory or push them over the edge and make their locker room as dysfunctional as the Dallas Cowboys.

As crazy as the notion of the Colts signing Owens sounds, don’t think it hasn’t at least crossed owner Jim Irsay’s mind. Yes, the Colts are in all kinds of salary cap pain, and yes, they just let wideout Marvin Harrison go because they couldn’t afford him. But know this, Irsay wants to win as badly as any NFL owner, and he’s not unwilling to pay to make it happen. But that’s why he brought in Bill Polian as president—so cooler, and arguably, more enlighten heads would prevail. Polian has long been the voice of reason at the Colts complex, but you have to wonder if he and Irsay might, just might, talk about T.O. at least for a few minutes today. If nothing else, to talk about why they can’t, or shouldn’t, sign him.

First, though, let’s talk about why the Colts should sign him. The obvious: He’s a huge talent with three years left in the tank. The clock is ticking on the current Colts' crop. Remember center Jeff Saturday was re-signed for three years. Tic, Tic, Tic … T.O. draws double teams aplenty and that can do wonders for guys like tight end Dallas Clark and fellow receiver Reggie Wayne. The Colts are a throw-first team, and that should sit well with Owens. The extra attention a receiver like T.O. attracts also prohibits opposing defenses from stacking the box, and that opens up the running game. Heaven knows, the Colts’ running game needs lots of help.

Then there’s Peyton Manning. You have to wonder if the future Hall of Famer is one of two, maybe three, quarterbacks that Owens would listen to. My other bets for quarterbacks that could control the temperamental T.O. are New England’s Tom Brady and New Orleans’ Drew Brees. But New England’s Randy Moss and T.O. get on like oil and water, so scratch the Pats.

Factor in that few teams will be willing to take a chance on T.O., and his price tag may be spiraling faster than Conseco’s stock value. The Colts might be able to get him cheaper than it would have cost them to retain Harrison. And you have to believe that Owens, who has burned all the bridges with the last three teams he’s played for, might finally be ready to prove to the league and all its fans, that he is a winner. There’s nothing like a motivated player.

If Tony Dungy was still the coach, I’d say that bolsters the chances that T.O. makes a good fit here. Dungy would certainly be the yin to Owens’ more volatile yang. But with rookie coach Jim Caldwell, signing T.O. is a much bigger gamble.

The ace in the hole for those who say the deal will never happen is that Polian never plays the free agent market. I trump out exhibit A … Adam Vinatieri. While the place kicker and T.O. seem to have little in common, I’d tell you they have one thing very much in common. Both are players who were and are in a position to put the Colts over the top of the NFL heap. Still think T.O. won’t at least come up once in conversation between Polian and Irsay today? I’m not so sure.
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  • :lol:

    Antney is boreded today.
  • No kidding, Da Hooey. Why in the world would anyone entertain any remote thought about a solid franchise upsetting the applecart with a clown like Owens? He may be a gifted player, but he borrowed his mouth from Bozo the Clown.
  • Trust me there are some pretty smart people around the NFL somewhere talking about signing this guy. The kind of talent T.O. has can make you a bit drunk with optimism ... or at least willing to take an extreme gamble for a big payoff. Look at the Celtics for crying out loud, they just signed Marbury.
  • No friggin' way will the Colts sign TO. He is the anti-Colt. He is everything the franchise DOESNT want. Do you remember all the hoohah from Jimmy Irsay about winning the right way? Putting a cancerous, self-centered, self-aggrandizing, conflict-creating circus sideshow into the locker room (and an aging one, at that) could not be considered doing things the right way.

    Nope. TO = To Oakland!!
  • Now that Millen can't bring any receivers to Detroit, it does have Oakland written all over it, doesn't it!
  • I agree with Colts fan--bringing in a player with a huge me first attitude is going to do nothing for this team. If T.O. has already burned all the bridges with the last three teams he’s played for, what on earth would make anyone think it will be different for number four? It goes way beyond the fool me once, shame on you--fool me twice, shame on me adage.

    After watching the Pacers give multiple chances to players who couldn't keep their actions and attitude in check--and watching the results at their next NBA stop (Ron Artest, anyone?)--I would hope the Colts take the higher ground and keep the positive team chemistry as intact as possible.
  • The first problem isn't the attitude, but the production. TO is a shell of the receiver he was three years ago. He always dropped passes, but over the last few years his hands have noticeably declined even further. TO did not draw double teams after Roy Williams was added to the Dallas roster and it would be very unlikely he would draw double teams in the Colts offense. He also doesn't have the speed necessary to stretch the field. He's a possession receiver, and one with unsure hands.

    And even if the Colts were going to spend free agent money on a receiver, they'd want speed opposite Wayne to help stretch the field; something they've missed the last two years with a subpar Marvin.

    So, the Colts won't sign TO because (a) he's not that good; and (b) he doesn't fit the mold of receiver they will be looking for in the April draft.

    Nothing wrong with a local sports writer posting an intriguing, albeit unlikely, scenario to start a discussion. However, a real sports journalist would talk to his sources and at least confirm with a scout or two that TO can still do what this article claims he can do. He cannot. And this is just another example of lazy reporting on this sports blog.
  • i would not watch a colts game, purchase a ticket, or allow my children to watch the colts as long as he is on the roster.
  • Absurd. Bill Polian would never even consider it (he's against signing big-name free agents, for the most part) and Irsay would not risk the team's image and future. Owens is an embarrassment to the league for the junk he's pulled over the years. Let someone else have him. He would not be a fit for the Colts or Indianapolis. You can win the right way or the wrong way. Colts win the right way.
  • I do not think this blog item was posted or presented in any way as an in-depth story but merely speculation (a what-if) which is what many blogs do, even those found on other newspaper Web sites. So Levi and company get off your high horses.
  • Levi, is your real name Mike Chappell? Or is it Jim Lefko?
  • Good one Simon, wish I would have thought of that.
  • Thought about this when I heard the Cowboys released him. As a talented player, I would not mind having Owens on the team. The distractions off the field is not what the Colts want though. We do not need to turn into the Indiana Pacers, where our name is in the newspapers and broadcasts every week to ruin our reputation.

    You talked about why we should sign him, but you never said why we shouldn't. Poor column in my opinion.
  • I'm confused by the purpose of this blog? I thought it was a sports business blog? If it is, shouldn't it focus on how player personnel moves affect the business end?

    Feels very out of place.
  • This is an interesting take. I see that several news sources still haven't put the Colts on the absolutely not interested list yet. Very interesting. And let's remember, T.O. has never been arrested or accused of doing anything illegal. He has not fired a gun or even pointed one at anyone as far as I know. Apart from taking too many sleeping pills once, his problems are pretty minor compared to a Pacman Jones, Stephen Jackson or Jamal Tinsley. My point is, if you can manage him between the lines of a football field and in the locker room, he could be a solid addition. And don't tell me his skills are that diminished. That's garbage.
  • Want evidence that Owens' skills have diminished, check out http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2009/done

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