Will Buffalo trade T.O.?

Five games in, Buffalo's offense hasn't improved at all with star receiver Terrell Owens. The unit has scored one touchdown in the last three games, hardly resembling the high-power attack many anticipated. So will Buffalo give up on Owens and trade him to a contender before Tuesday's trading deadline?

The perils of the Internet strikes again. Us Americans love a juicy rumor, huh?

On Tuesday, the rumor of Terrell Owens getting traded multiplied through sports nation like a virus. What began as a shoot-from-the-hip nugget on ESPN.com's Rumor Central section became a mainstream talking point.

Probably because it makes plenty of sense for Buffalo (1-4). But don't count on it. The fact that Ralph Wilson hasn't fired Dick Jauron and that Dick Jauron hasn't benched Trent Edwards, suggests the organization is not ready to mortgage this season entirely quite yet. The white flag hasn't been hoisted yet.

Seems logical enough. Some team out there could sure use Owens more than the bumbling Bills. Further, Buffalo has nothing vested in T.O. beyond this season. Trading Owens would help the Bills shed $4 million of the $6.5 million on his one-year contract. A team like the Chicago Bears — one big-play receiver away from title contention — would probably cough up a mid-round pick for Owens.

On Monday, the New York Jets proved that traded wideouts can transition immediately. Braylon Edwards, forever plagued by drops like T.O., made several eye-opening catches against the Miami Dolphins in the Jets' loss. You can bet more teams are scanning the league for a similar midseason addition, much like a baseball team adding an elite arm for a playoff push.

With a quarterback capable of throwing the ball downfield, Owens would instantly upgrade another team's offense. And the Bills would get a freebie draft pick down the road. Not a bad deal, right?

Don't expect anything to transpire before next Tuesday's NFL trade deadline. Buffalo has yet to show any inkling of submission yet. That embarrassing 6-3 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns hasn't triggered rebuilding. Exactly the opposite. It looks like the Bills are hurrying back its middle linebacker. The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that Paul Posluszny could play Sunday against New York, two weeks earlier than expected.

Even after scoring one offensive touchdown in three games, the Bills aren't ready to sacrifice the present for the future — aren't ready to daydream of Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy. It's only October, of course. Buffalo's management hasn't agreed on a ceasefire. Remember, this is a franchise with blind optimism. Hope in Jauron has faded in everyone's minds but the owner. It makes perfect sense to give up on this experiment, but don't count on the Bills doing it.

Ideally, Owens lifts the offense out of this epic funk right now. The opportunity is there. If the Bills somehow survive the Meadowlands with a win this Sunday, lackluster defenses await. Carolina (15th), Houston (tied-23rd), Tennessee (tied-23rd) and Jacksonville (30th) all rank in the bottom half of the league defensively. The Bills should be able to points up against this quartet. Or, you know, at least a couple touchdowns. The AFC South is a fraction of the defense-first division it used to be.

So expect the Bills and Owens to stay bound together all season. Wilson's decision to keep Jauron after last Sunday's loss reaffirmed the franchise's desire to ride this entire season out. T.O. is a part of that.

Come March, the hoopla will be reset for a new team. Owens will usher in a circus somewhere else. Unless, of course, he relishes the opportunity to play with a checkdown quarterback for another year.


Want to see Owens traded? Let it rip inside the ROCKPILE.

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