As the Chicago Bears look to rebuild their offense under new coach Marc Trestman, one obvious area of concern is depth at wide receiver. Brandon Marshall is a superstar and second-year man Alshon Jeffery shows great promise, but the pass-catching corps gets thin very quickly after those two.
Now, one of the biggest names (and loudest mouths) in NFL receiving history is expressing interest in joining Jay Cutler’s list of targets. As reported by CSN Chicago, Terrell Owens wants to get back into the NFL, and he wants to do it in a Bear uniform.
Owens’ affinity for the Bears (for whom he’s never played) stems from his past association with Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator and QB coach in San Francisco when T.O. was getting his start as a 49er. Additionally, the fact that the Bears have an obvious need at his position probably isn’t lost on a player who knows just how slim the market is for 39-year-old wideouts.
Even as the Bears try to improve at WR, though, Chicago should stay far, far away from Owens. Nothing he can possibly add to the roster will outweigh the potentially enormous damage he can cause.
In the first place, the aging Owens is not only well past the expiration date for a wide receiver, but he’s also been out of football for two full seasons. Just because he put up respectable numbers as a Bengal in 2010 doesn’t mean he’s capable of anything like that performance at this stage.
Just as crucially, his arrival would be a nightmare for team chemistry in general, and QB Cutler in particular.
Owens is an attention hog, a player who needs the media to be interested in everything he does, all the time. That’s hardly an element Trestman should be eager to introduce as he revamps the offensive culture in Chicago.
Owens’ outsized personality would be a particular issue for his putative quarterback, because Cutler is already battling major questions about his own leadership ability and the team’s confidence in him. The absolute last thing he needs is for Owens to invite chaos into the locker room and introduce even more questions about whether Cutler is really in charge of his own offense.
Finally, the Bears are particularly vulnerable to being damaged by Owens’ toxic presence because of the departure of longtime leader Brian Urlacher. There’s going to be a vacuum in the Chicago locker room this year—asking Terrell Owens to fill it is like inviting Yosemite Sam to teach your anger management class.
Opponents once feared Terrell Owens as the most dangerous wide receiver in football. If he puts on a Bears uniform, he’ll be the most dangerous player in football to his own team.