For the last two weeks, speculation has mounted that a team not named the Dallas Cowboys would work out a trade with Philadelphia for wide receiver Terrell Owens.
It never happened. And now that Owens was released Tuesday before he was due his $5 million roster bonus, he has clearly become the top free agent available this off-season.
Despite the fact he brings enough baggage to fill up Concourse A at DFW, no other free agent or draft pick has the ability to change the complexion of a franchise more than Terrell Owens.
For the Cowboys, signing Owens makes even more sense today, than it ever has before.
Instead of paying their top receiver, Keyshawn Johnson, a $1 million roster bonus Tuesday, Dallas elected to part ways with the No. 1 overall pick of the 1996 draft. In doing so, the organization created a massive hole in its wide receiver corps.
And as reported here at TheRanchReport.com Tuesday, Jerry Jones has to have a plan of some sort already in place. Without question, now that Keyshawn is no longer with the team, that plan involves the addition of a playmaking wide receiver in free agency.
Enter Terrell Owens.
Owens, who has been rumored to Dallas for weeks, would instantly give the Cowboys a game-changing wide receiver that can score anytime he touches the ball. His addition would also make Dallas one the leading candidates to win the rough and rugged NFC East and challenge for the Super Bowl.
But before we discuss World Championship dreams built around 80-yard fly patterns, there's a little obstacle that must be overcome. In case you haven't figured it out by now, Terrell Owens wants a big contract.
And oh by the way, he wants that contract to include a large sum of guaranteed money.
And that is what the Cowboys must consider before inking any kind of deal with the controversial wide out.
Owens wants big money. The Cowboys want big-time production on the field. Owens wants guaranteed money. The Cowboys want a guarantee that the same events that transpired in Philadelphia and San Francisco, don't transpire in Dallas. Terrell wants a multi-year deal. Dallas wants to return to the playoffs for consecutive years for the first time since the 1990's.
Somewhere in between, lies a deal.
Sources tell TheRanchReport.com that Owens won't even blink at a deal that involves less than $15-20 million in guaranteed money.
Of course, this is the reason that many teams have already stepped out of the Terrell Owens' sweepstakes. Perhaps Kansas City President Carl Peterson said it best, "If Terrell and his agent are interested in a one-year contract with no guarantees, then we are interested," he said.
Here's a newsflash Carl, so would the rest of the NFL.
On the other hand, put yourself in Owens' shoes for a moment and look at what other receivers have commanded in the open market this off-season. When the Redskins signed a career No. 2 wide receiver at best, Pittsburgh's Antwaan Randle El, for a cool $31 million, you can believe that Owens, right or wrong, will expect his own hefty chunk of change.
And while it may not take weeks or months to get a deal done, as some national experts are suggesting, it may take some time.
Owens will remain patient. The Cowboys will remain patient. At the same time, Owens needs a team and the Cowboys need a wide receiver.
And they'll need each other sooner rather than later.
Owens Deal Could Take Time
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