Earlier this week, an incredible discovery was made. And NASA had nothing to do with it.
Terrell Owens, at 38, apparently still has something left in the tank. The mouthy wideout, desperately seeking employment after a one-year hiatus from the NFL, which included the cancellation of his reality show, financial strains, depression admissions and an embarrassing stint with the Allen Wranglers, blew the minds of Seattle scouts Monday, running a sub-4.5 40-yard dash. Tuesday, the 'Hawks, looking to add veteran depth at receiver, promptly signed the five-time All-Pro to a 1-year, $925,000 deal.
Dr. Phil really does possess healing powers.
The last time Owens signed an incentive laden deal, with Cincinnati in 2010, he was thought to be washed up. The year before his employment with the Bills yielded only marginal results. That combined with his cumbersome personality led many to believe his days in the league were numbered. Remarkably, though, he silenced doubters, compiling 983 yards and nine touchdowns in just 14 games. Still, even after a rebirth, no GM wanted to hire the problem child the following season. Only Kenny Britt scored more points in the "character flaw" category.
This preseason, Pete Carroll has collected one antique receiver after another, curious moves that speak to the organization's obvious lack of confidence in Sidney Rice's health and Golden Tate's development. Braylon Edwards and Antonio Bryant were both gifted auditions, however, the latter was cut after only 10 days. Now it's Owens' chance to rectify his career. 'Hawks GM John Schneider sounds confident he will. From ESPN 710:
Schneider said he was "blown away" by the workout and that Owens' shape is "quite ridiculous" for a 38-year-old. Specifically, Schneider noted how fast and fluid Owens looked while running certain routes. The workout "made it a no-brainer" to pursue a deal with Owens, Schneider said, provided he would agree to play by the team's rules, so to speak...
Like fellow future Hall of Famer Randy Moss, don't expect Owens to write the happiest ending. He's tied to a questionable quarterback and isn't the most reliable route-runner. His improvisational techniques shown with the Bengals won't fly in Seattle's time-sensitive West Coast system. To be fair, though, he did excel in similar setups in San Francisco and Philadelphia earlier in his career. Still, at best, he's a late-round flier in 12-team leagues.
Yes, physically, T.O.'s popcorn is more than ready. But given his advanced age, sketchy character and unproven QB, he's a brand name that should deservedly sell for a generic price.
Don't be seduced by the speed.
Fearless Forecast (16 games): 52 receptions, 758 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns
• Call off the SWAT team. Mike Wallace's standoff may soon end. Maybe. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert recently stated to a Pittsburgh radio station there has been "no contact" between the two sides. Colbert also reiterated his desire not to trade the deep threat. But Tuesday, ESPN's Bob Holtzman revealed sources close to the situation believe Wallace will eventually cave. At this point fantasy owners need to take a wait-and-see approach. Unless Wallace wants to miss the first 10 weeks of the regular season and forfeit $2.7 million, the Howard Hughes of wideouts will come out of hiding. Until he does, he remains an enhanced risk at his current 31.5 (WR10) Y! ADP. Even if he returns to action on time, the more well-rounded Antonio Brown, for reasons discussed previously, is the Steelers WR to own.
• When the letters "MRI" are used in the same sentence as "knee" and "(Insert prized player's name)" panic immediately takes hold. For those heavily invested in hyped rookie, Trent Richardson, that's the unfortunate case. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reported Tuesday, the popular first-round pick was seen on the sidelined riding a stationary bike. His knee, the same one that was scoped in February, was covered by a protective rubber sleeve. Indications are he could sit out the Browns exhibition opener Friday at Detroit. Though most believe Wednesday's examination is only precautionary, the residual soreness raises a red fleg. Still, unless the problem lingers, he remains in line to log 20-25 touches per game, making him an elite option worthy of a borderline Round 1 pick in 12-team drafts. If you play in a league full of skeptics, take advantage. As predicted last month, T-Pain has strong odds of accumulating 1,500 total yards and 10-12 touchdowns.
• Mikel Leshoure continues to dig his own grave. The second-year running back, quickly gaining a 'fragile' reputation, has missed nine straight days of practice due to a hamstring injury. With Jahvid Best possibly weeks away from receiving medical clearance and Leshoure out for the first two games of the regular season due to a suspension, Smith will open the season as the starter, a role he may not relinquish this season. It might sound like a broken record, but the 25-year-old, who was otherworldly at times last year, is without a doubt the most underappreciated rusher in Y! drafts (121.1 ADP, RB42). Roy Helu, Shonn Greene, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, DeAngelo Williams, Michael Bush and a broken Rashard Mendenhall, options going well ahead of Smith, aren't nearly as attractive. Reach for him if necessary.
• Critics who contend the preseason is meaningless, yawn-worthy football aren't serious fantasy players. A great deal can be gleaned from players entrenched in hard-to-read situations. Take Washington for example. The 'Skins' tilt with Buffalo presents a huge opportunity for Evan Royster, who Lucifer Shanahan anointed the starter in a presser Tuesday. Roy Helu, misdiagnosed as the backfield's finest fantasy option, is on the downward slide. He may be the most talented back on roster, but the coaching staff insists he's better suited for third-down work, a slight at the rusher's questionable durability. Tim Hightower, who actually sits atop the team's official depth-chart, and rookie Alfred Morris also remain in the mix, but with a strong effort Thursday, Royster could really assert himself. Win the gig and he instantly vaults into RB2 territory in 12-team leagues. Considering his wide availability (5-percent owned), the second-year back is one to keep very close tabs on. Sans Shany's mind games, Washington is a very favorable environment, especially for RBs with skills tailored for a zone-blocking scheme.
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