Terrell Owens with the Riders? Please no

There’s nothing that makes sense about the Saskatchewan Roughriders working out 44-year-old ex-National Football League receiver Terrell Owens.


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With head coach/general manager/defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones cutting gutsy pass catchers like Rob Bagg and Chad Owens and saying it was a young man’s game now – their relative salary cap hits are more than the likely reason for their cuts after training camp this year – no one can be completely sure what end is up for the green and white anymore. 

Perhaps, like with 1,000-yard receiver Duron Carter, Jones is trying to find another player from, an unfamiliar position for defensive back. Neil Young kind of did the same thing on Crazy Horse albums, putting future E-Street Band member Nils Lofgren on keyboards for Southern Man on the After the Goldrush album and the result sounded raw yet meaningful.  

Who knows what’s on Jones’ mind as the Riders play in the lower half of the CFL’s West division. Last weekend, Owens hosted his own party for his induction into the NFL Hall of Fame.

It’s time to dig into some recent Terrell Owens moments, since he just may be playing for the Riders by the time Labour Day hits, and try to understand why on earth we’d want someone with this track record on our team.  

Just a month or so ago, he worked out with the Edmonton Eskimos. They didn’t think he’d add anything to their team so it was a very short relationship between the two. We laughed, right? It would be absurd to bring in someone like that in midseason.

In his last U.S. football experience, he signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks in training camp in 2012, but was released before the season started. This was after eight games with the Allen Wranglers of the Arena Football League earlier in the year and had been cut for a lack of effort on and off the field.

He had a televised workout in 2011 to show he’d recovered from ACL surgery but no one attended. After players lobbied to have him come to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010 and promptly led the team from a 10-6 record the previous season to 4-12 despite leading the team in receptions and catches.

In 2009, he signed with the Buffalo Bills and they went from 7-9 the year before to 6-10 and their head coach, Dick Jauron, was fired.

During his stint with the Dallas Cowboys from 2006-2008, the super-talented Cowboys made the playoffs twice and had a 9-7 season the other year, but they didn’t win their playoff games.

He had a tumultuous stint with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2004-2005, playing in the Super Bowl against doctor’s orders after getting hurt three weeks before the playoffs. They lost that game despite Owens getting an impressive 122 yards on nine catches.

But in 2005, he got into a fistfight with a teammate when he wore a throwback jersey for the Cowboys en route to a 6-10 season. He got his wish to play for Dallas but not before telling ESPN that he felt his team would have been undefeated if they had Brett Favre at QB instead of Donovan McNabb.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted Owens in 1996 out of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, a school that didn’t have a winning record when he was there. While with the 49ers in his first three seasons, the team had a lot of success but were just short of getting to the Super Bowl. When Steve Young retired, the team’s fortunes went south quickly.

So with this kind of track record, personal success among teams and locker rooms falling apart, should the Roughriders honestly even dream of a scenario where they’d want him on the team? 

© Copyright Estevan Mercury


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