A Buffalo Wing and a Prayer

I was in New York this past weekend with my wife to check out a couple of shows when I received the message on my blackberry that the Bills had signed mercurial – check that, insane – wideout Terrell Owens.

My initial reaction was, wow, what a fall from grace for Owens, and why would the Bills be interested in him?

Ah, but that was at dinner, with four Dewar’s in me (and a beer). Once I was no longer encumbered by alcohol and began thinking about this move, I quickly arrived at the conclusion that it’s pure genius for both parties. Owens is a complete embarrassment at this point, but so are the Buffalo Bills. His career is going nowhere, and neither are the Bills – unless you’re talking about Canada.

Terrell Owens makes perfect sense for the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Bills make perfect sense for Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens makes perfect sense for the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Bills make perfect sense for Terrell Owens

From Buffalo’s perspective, at least people are talking about the Bills again. More importantly, this T.O. game has played out so many times before that we should be very familiar with how the storyline will unfold, kind of like how we know an episode of “Three’s Company”  will be based on a misunderstanding. In this case, it’s based on Owens’ psychosis. It starts off rosy, and things start to deteriorate in year two or three. At this point, however, Owens may actually behave, since no one’s going to put up with much from a guy who’ll be pushing 40, so the Bills may actually get a kinder gentler Owens for 1-3 years. He definitely won’t cause any problems this year; I can say that with the utmost confidence. He’s literally run out of options in the National Football League.

And the fact of the matter is the Bills desperately need Owens. Sure, his skills have declined, but he’s still one of the 15 best WRs in the game. Buffalo has needed a wideout with size for what seems like a decade (it may actually be a decade), and the guy they picked in the draft last year, James Hardy, is a bum. Lee Evans is not a legit #1, but he’s one heck of a #1A or a #2, so while they still don’t have a TE (keep an eye on Derek Schouman with Robert Royal gone), Owens and Evans is a really nice duo. Throw in the speedy Roscoe Parrish and the reliable Josh Reed in the slot, and now we’re talking about a real receiving corps. QB Trent Edwards fell into a slump last year, but his overall body of work so far in the NFL is encouraging. He’s showed signs of being a quality player in the NFL, perhaps someone similar to what Trent Green was for the Chiefs from like 2002-2005.

And finally, while they have operated for years in an overly-frugal and conservative fashion, which has limited them, this has been a pretty good team the last two seasons. They play well as a team on defense, have an above-average o-line, and their top two backs are pretty good. RB Marshawn Lynch did disappoint me last year trying too hard with his herky-jerky running, and while I still think he is overall a good guy (this ain’t Pacman Jones), he’s pretty dumb. He’ll likely be suspended for a stretch, which makes Fred Jackson a terrific sleeper in 2009. Jackson was better than Lynch last year. I don’t know if Jackson can handle the wear and tear of being a featured back, as Lynch has, but Jackson was a better player. He was much more decisive, so he was better.

So the pieces are in place for the Bills to make a serious run at the playoffs in 2009. If they stay relatively healthy and if Edwards progresses or more importantly doesn’t regress, they’ll be 9-7 or even 10-6, and they’ll be very relevant. The media will praise them for taking a chance on a lunatic that paid off. It’ll be a victory for this franchise.

Owens will be talking all season about how no other team gave him a chance, and he’ll reward the team that did by playing well, scoring TDs, and keep his big fat yapper shut. It’ll be a victory for him.

But all bets are off in 2010.

Category: Fantasy Football

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7 Responses

  1. Jerry Shimirak says:

    Great Blog and predictions for 2010.

    I have heard a strong roomer here in Denver that if Jay & Coach don’t burry the hatchet very soon, there is still a 3-way trade beeing discussed/considered with Tamp / ARZ & Den, with Jay & Leinart names mentioned; any truth?
    —- JAYS

  2. Robert says:

    The AFC East’s REcievers are getting scary…. As A DolFan, John,
    Who are the 3 best Corners still available? Are any of them “Cover Corners”?

  3. John Hansen says:

    Best corners are probably Chris McAlister, Dre’ Bly, Leigh Bodden, and Patrick Surtain. Not bad, but not all that good either.

    I try not to get too involved in those types of rumors. To me and what I do it doesn’t matter much until a deal is actually done, and I would still be shocked if a deal got done.

  4. JB says:

    I really like Fred Jackson as well..he is the best RB on the Bills..just like Pierre Thomas is the best on the Saints…Does the addition of Tra Thomas move Maurice Jones Drew’s fantasy stock go up? Also, after Adrian Peterson, who is the next best fantasy RB?

  5. PackFan says:

    The Cowboys played at Lambeau Field this past season, so I got a first hand look at one Terrell Owens. The stadium opened 2 hours before kickoff, and we got to our seats right away – binoculars in hand. At that time, there were maybe 6 Cowboys on the field, and T.O. was one of them – going through his stretching routine. When Romo came out, T.O. started running routes and catching passes, he continued to run routes at what appeared to be full speed, even as the 3rd string guy took over and continued throwing him the ball. When he became disinterested and rambled off – a ball boy took over. Owens ran route after route after route until there was no one left to throw him the ball. This guy has an AMAZING work ethic and I have to say, I like him because of that. I hope it works out for him in Buffalo. In the real world, what employer wouldn’t like an employee who wants more and more work tossed his way? If you think he’s slowing down … then adjust the offense – put him in the slot … put him in motion; be creative – play to his strengths. Saddle him up and ride him. Owens was a #1 receiver who really wasn’t the #1 target in Dallas – Jason Witten seemed to be. Yes, I’m sure he can be a pain – and that’s why I think at this point in time it’s best to keep him on a series of one year contracts.

    I often wonder what would have happened if he and his agent hadn’t missed the free agent signing period that left him a 49er. He didn’t want to play for the Ravens so the Eagles got him – complete with a contract that probably didn’t pay him what his market value really was. He was a heck of a player for Philly that first year, and I’m wondering if things would have been different if the Eagles would have ponied up and offered him a fair market deal starting in year two. When they didn’t – I think Owens felt he was getting screwed financially, with very few options. So in this case what are his options? Why not go after the kingpin? Pick a fight with Donovan and push it to the limit until the exasperated, tightwad Eagles finally let him go. A free agent, but with a bad reputation.

    It’s just a guess, but I’m thinking if the Eagles had rewarded this guy with a fair market contract right after their Super Bowl appearance, things might have worked out a whole lot differently – for the team, and for The Player. We’ll never know.

  6. rogers turner, aka, big daddies says:

    come on John, lets find out what is really going on in Denver! I got a feeling, cut-one is gone draft day. Now that they have Simms, Det trades for Cut daddy, and stafford winds up in Denver, how’s that?

  7. Phish fan do or die!! says:

    Pack Fan, nice to hear someone who isn’t bashing T.O. for no reason. I agree with you, and think he gets a bad rep. T.O. plays his heart out, is a physical beast and is respected by his teammates. But media needs someone to bash when things aren’t going well, so it typically falls on the diva WR(Moss,TO, Ocho). T.O. simply wants to win, and wants the ball to help his team win. Being a Miami fan, I am not happy about this move. Owens and Moss in my division sucks, especially after losing a good DB. Looks like Miami will have to focus on DB and WR in the draft.

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