Viking Age Smackdown: Should the Vikings Sign Terrell Owens?

It was a year ago this week that Brad Childress coughed up a third round pick to the Patriots for Randy Moss. I don’t have to remind you how that turned out. A few weeks later Moss was cut, and not long after that Childress was himself fired.

Fast forward to 2011. The Vikings are 0-4 with three blown double-digit halftime leads on their resume. Their receiver corps is no better than it was last year when Chilly dealt for Moss, and Donovan McNabb isn’t playing much better than Brett Favre did in 2011. The Vikes are desperate for answers to their offensive woes…maybe desperate enough to take a flyer on another future Hall of Fame wide receiver who is in the twilight of his career.

Enter Terrell Owens. As we speak the former Pro Bowler is in Los Angeles rehabbing from knee surgery. It’s expected that TO will soon start working out for teams, and there’s speculation that the Vikings could bring him in for a look.

What would the Vikings be getting from TO at this point in his career? He’s 37 and, like I said, coming off knee surgery. Obviously he would not be the same player who used to light up the stat sheet on a weekly basis. Nor would he constitute the deep threat the Vikings have been searching in vain to find ever since Sidney Rice got hurt.

On the surface it doesn’t seem TO would have very much to offer the Vikings at all. Plus there’s that whole matter of his past history with Donovan McNabb. At the very least, putting TO and McNabb back together in the same locker room would be awkward. But if McNabb signed off on the move, the Vikings would surely have no reason to balk at reuniting the two.

As for TO’s well-documented “character issues”: As we’ve seen many times, Terrell tends to be on his best behavior when he is first brought to a team, and only causes problems when he is kept around for an extended period. The Vikes would be looking to keep TO only for the rest of this season. And TO would have extra motivation to behave himself as he is reported to be in pretty dire financial straits. At this point, TO might need the Vikings worse than they need him.

Naturally, we have to be realistic about what TO would bring to the table. No, he would not be a magic elixir. But would it be entertaining to have TO in the fold? Absolutely. And at this point, with the Vikings way out of contention and looking like a forlorn bunch, a little entertainment value – a little spark of personality – might be just what the team needs.

Yes I realize that’s a stretch. Well let me put it to you this way then: Who would you rather see out there for the rest of the season, Bernard Berrian or Terrell Owens?

I you’re like me, you are sick to death of Berrian’s non-existent effort. What better argument could there be in favor of signing TO than that it allows you to cut Berrian loose and replace him with someone who might actually try?

Leslie Frazier persists, week after week, in putting out this fiction about Berrian being a potential deep threat. But we all know Berrian is no deep receiver. Last week Devin Aromashodu stepped up in the deep receiver role in a way Berrian hasn’t since Gus Frerotte was on the team. So what is Berrian’s role on this team exactly? He doesn’t draw double teams. He doesn’t stretch the field. He isn’t reliable underneath.

Basically, Berrian is worthless. With Owens at least there’s always a chance he could catch a couple of balls and start drawing attention from the defense, freeing up Aromashodu and Percy Harvin. He didn’t become a Hall of Fame receiver for nothing. Yes I realize this is a long-shot, but you know what’s an even longer shot? Bernard Berrian becoming worth a damn.

I realize the “at least he’s better than Berrian” argument isn’t much of an argument, but in this case I think it’s all you need. You know what you have with Berrian: absolutely nothing. With TO at least there’s a chance some of the old spark is still there. With this season already down the toilet, I see no reason why the Vikings shouldn’t take a chance on TO having something left in the tank. What do they have to lose at this point? If he spouts off or flops on the field you cut him, and go forward no less miserable than you were before.

Coming soon: Jon Merckle on why signing Terrell Owens would be a bad idea

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Tags: Brad Childress Donovan Mcnabb Minnesota Vikings Randy Moss Terrell Owens

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