Last week, we speculated about the possibility of WR Brandon Lloyd being acquired via trade. Considering Kenny Britt’s season-ending injury and youngsters such as Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins failing to step up so far, sacrificing a mid-to-low round draft pick in exchange for a talented receiver didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
Of course, despite taking a hard look at him, the Titans were beaten to the punch by the St. Louis Rams, who won the Lloyd sweepstakes at the mere cost of a conditional low round draft pick.
With Lloyd no longer available, Head Coach Mike Munchak raised an eyebrow or two yesterday by suggesting that if/when he’s healthy, the talented albeit controversial WR Terrell Owens will likely be on the Titans radar.
This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed the possibility of Owens joining the Tennessee Titans. After being surprisingly jettisoned by the Dallas Cowboys in 2009, I authored a piece about the chances of the Titans signing T.O. Of course, that speculation ended quickly when the Buffalo Bills signed Owens to a one-year deal.
Owens, who is anything but a spring chicken as he turns 38 in December, is also coming off a torn ACL. When healthy, despite his age, he’s still more than capable of serving as an effective playmaker, as he did last year in Cincinnati while catching 72 passes for 983 yards and 9 touchdowns.
To some, signing Owens would be similar to last year’s decision to take a chance on another mercurial, likely Hall of Fame-bound WR. Unfortunately, despite his credentials, Randy Moss failed to make much of an impact after he was picked up by the Titans in 2010.
A difference between possibly signing Owens compared to last year’s acquisition of Moss lies in the stability at the QB position that was non-existent last season. Moss arrived just as the fireworks between Vince Young and Jeff Fisher were taking place. Veteran Kerry Collins missed a few games due to injury as well so at times, the erratic youngster also known as Rusty Smith was missing Titan receivers on a consistent basis during his short but forgettable tenure as the team’s starter.
In 2011, the Titans have benefitted from the presence of vet Matt Hasselbeck, who has provided the team with a level of stability at the QB position this franchise hasn’t seen since a guy named Steve McNair led the huddle.
Stability at QB would definitely put Owens in a better position to succeed than Moss had last year.
We can’t forget another potential con associated with signing Owens: his impact on team chemistry. Despite putting up dazzling numbers, Owens’ impact on the locker room has at times taken away from his stellar performance on the field and with the Titans sitting at 3-2 in first place in the anything but competitive Peyton Manning-less AFC South, the team certainly doesn’t need any distractions.
On-the-field, Owens would provide the Titans with a physical/playmaking target who still has the ability to beat corners deep on occasion. He’d be a solid fit taking Kenny Britt’s place in the starting lineup.
Of course, Munchak publicly stating the team’s interest in the likes of Owens (as well as Lloyd before he was traded to the Rams) could be a motivational ploy to get the youngsters Williams and Hawkins to step up and emerge so the team doesn’t have to acquire someone else.
So in a few weeks, as T.O. attempts to come back from a torn ACL, we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes open to see if the Titans are willing to take the plunge and acquire Owens, if he’s able to prove that he’s ready to contribute.