After Terrell Owens got bounced by the Cowboys, a popular parlor game was trying to figure out where he would end up. But few guessed that Buffalo would be his next stop. Will the unlikely hookup work? We say yes, and here’s why:
*The contract. T.O. got a fair price ($6.5 million with $4M guaranteed), but the single year on the deal is the ultimate inducement for good behavior. Buffalo was smart to pay the going rate, if not a little more, to keep him happy, but it’s pending free agency that will keep the diva receiva in line.
*The authority structure. Head coach Dick Jauron has been around and won’t kowtow under T.O. pressure. And if Owens tries an end-around to the front office, he’ll find owner Ralph Wilson far less hands on than Jerry Jones was.
*The quarterback. Trent Edwards isn’t a veteran who can put Owens in his place, but the team is wholly committed to him. If there is a conflict, the organization is going to back its long-term QB and not the one-year receiver. That’s important when stepping into this situation.
*The history. Traditionally, teams have gotten one great year out of Owens without much trouble. It’s the second year, once the popcorn is ready, when the drama starts. The Bills are hoping they get that first standout year and then, if there are any seeds of discontent, they can cut the cord. That’s the best approach any team could have taken to adding Owens.
The Bills seemingly thought this deal through and created a scenario that has the best opportunity of succeeding. Yes, it’s still a gamble that could blow up in their faces – any deal with Owens is – but for a team idling on mediocrity, why not? It certainly makes Buffalo a team that should be more competitive and that will certainly be more watchable in ’09.