Who'll take T.O.?

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  • Terrell Owens
    Terrell Owens
    American football wide receiver

SportStream video: Looking toward T.O.'s future


I'm so over this marriage.

I'm sick of asking Donovan McNabb what he has to say about Terrell Owens, and hearing what Andy Reid thinks about it. I'm sick of the fighting, backstabbing and bickering, and longing for a simpler time – like when we just had the Kobe-Phil-Shaq love triangle.

So let this matrimonial hiss finally be done. Everybody divide up the assets and go to opposite sides of the country. Except for Hugh Douglas. Now that he's not going to be playing Rockem Sockem Robots in the locker room, I figure Douglas doesn't need the title of "Bad-Ass-Ador" anymore.

I'm calling dibs right now.

Really, though, we all should be popping champagne corks. We can get on with the real business in the NFL and return the soap opera trash to where it belongs: Major League Baseball. For now, justice has been handed out. Terrell Owens said all of his nasty things, and he got a wicked bad paddling from the Philadelphia Eagles and arbitrator Richard Bloch. The NFL Players Association says it's not fair, but this is also a union that blames the league if a player comes down with a cold (or worse yet, a case of Ron Mexico).

If anything, Bloch merely becomes the childproof cap that prevents the rest of the NFL from once again swallowing a bitter little pill. But there are limitations. Owens will be released in the offseason, and he's destined to woo someone else. He's the league's answer to Peppermint Schnapps – sweet when you meet, but a headache waiting to happen. What's worse, you know that going in, and you still end up in the same place.

So what happens now to Owens? Who is willing to risk the headache for a moment's ecstasy? Believe it or not, there will be plenty of teams with short, clause-ridden contracts willing to take the plunge. Owens' athletic riches are just too tempting not to accept his fickle nature. And you know how it is with riches – Donald Trump has been married, what, like 43 times?

So I've come up with a body count, err, list of five finalists most likely to land Owens next season. Only one team can have him. Everyone else will be out of luck (or at this rate, be able to sign him when he's deactivated in 2007).

5. Washington Redskins

You have to start with owner Dan Snyder, who isn't afraid to risk a little cash on a big signing. The Redskins desperately need another receiving option to accentuate Santana Moss, and it helps that No. 2 wideout David Patten has been a bust. Plus, with the defensive pieces in place, this is a team that is just an offense away from competing among the NFC elite. As for all those people who doubt whether Joe Gibbs could handle dealing with a potential headache, here are three names to contemplate: LaVar Arrington, Sean Taylor and Clinton Portis.

4. Miami Dolphins

I never thought Nick Saban would be able to handle a combustible situation with a star player – and then he hurdled the Ricky Williams fiasco with ease. If you've paid any attention to Saban through his coaching career, he's never been afraid to take risks on guys with major talent, and that goes right back through his days at LSU and Michigan State. Even his draft picks this season have had plenty of character questions. As for Owens, he loves South Florida, and his boy – agent Drew Rosenhaus – has a lot of pull in that neighborhood. And Owens even could make one of Miami's quarterbacks (take your pick) look good.

3. Atlanta Falcons

Now that we've seen Michael Vick throw deep a few times in recent weeks, I'm more than convinced he could wing it and let Owens use his speed to just go get it. Owens always has had a fondness for Atlanta, and even though he's selling his home there, it doesn't mean it's absolutely out of the picture. Even offensive coordinator Greg Knapp has given Owens a pass for a blowup that occurred between the two when they were on the sidelines with the San Francisco 49ers – saying it was an argument in the heat of battle. Falcons coach Jim Mora and owner Arthur Blank would need plenty of convincing, but if Owens wants to be there and Vick is mutually interested, the Falcons carry a lot of weight.

2. Denver Broncos Bottom line: If Mike Shanahan will take a leap on Maurice Clarett, he'll risk character concerns for winning any day of the week. The frightening prospect is the perceived frailty of a guy like Jake Plummer. Then again, it looks an awful lot like Plummer has gotten beyond his days of bonehead decisions. And he's got plenty of arm to throw Owens the ball deep. More than anything, this is a team that might be just one more impact player from a Super Bowl. But the offense is pretty good already, so maybe that player should be added on defense.

And the winner will be …

1. Dallas Cowboys

Bill Parcells put up with Lawrence Taylor, and the Cowboys are merely a piece or two from winning the Super Bowl. But that's not even the good part. Picture Owens, Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn in the same wide receiving corps. It would be the first time in league history that three players with season-ending suspensions would be together on the same field. Well, sort of.

Owens will have pulled off the feat with the Eagles, and Johnson did his time after becoming an "element of sabotage" within the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization. Glenn gets the nod on a technicality. He was suspended for a failed drug test at the start of 2001 while with the New England Patriots, then blew off the team when it quit paying installments in his signing bonus. And when Patriots coach Bill Belichick had had enough, he suspended Glenn for the remainder of the season. But here's the twist: Glenn had the penalty overturned when he won in – you guessed it – an arbitration hearing.

Just what Terrell Owens needs. A mentor to teach him a thing or two.