Could you imagine T.O. and Ochocinco on the same team? Would there be enough passes to go around for two of the most high profile receivers in the NFL? According to Cincinnati Bengals team officials, we may soon find out.
Bengals owner Mike Brown recently told reporters that the team has offered 36-year-old free-agent receiver Terrell Owens a contract deal. If Owens signs, the highly entertaining, yet controversial star will be teaming up with Chad Johnson, who legally changed his name to “Ochocinco” a few years ago when he and Owens were both setting the league on fire with their unique and exciting touchdown celebrations.
At one point, both receivers were considered the best in the league. But Owens recorded his worst season in 10 seasons last year, catching just 55 passes for five touchdowns for the Buffalo Bills. Ochocinco’s production has declined throughout the past two seasons, too, but that may be due to the departure of former Bengals receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who was talented enough to keep defenses from keying in on Johnson.
With the signing of T.O., both players could possibly regain elite status. “I think that I would rather have line up on our side of the ball than the other side of the ball,” Bengals owner Mike Brown told the media at the team’s annual preseason luncheon. “I can remember playing Dallas a few years ago when he caught a pass across the middle that won the game for them. So I’ve seen him do it. I’ve seen him do it against us. I’d like him to be here and do that against somebody else.”
Brown isn’t the only Bengals lobbying for Owens’ services. Ochocinco, who has a reality TV show on VH1 just like Owens, has expressed his interest in T.O. coming to Cincinnati on multiple occasions. And Bengals star quarterback Carson Palmer has also joined the lobbying effort.
Palmer and Owens recently worked out together, and Palmer raved about the veteran receiver to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.
“Carson was really impressed with a lot of the things that Terrell was doing,” Lewis told ESPN. “Carson’s comments to me…I guess the word is they resonate well.”
But production on the field has never been a problem for Owens. It’s his reputation for disrupting chemistry in the locker room that has most teams hesitant about adding him to their roster. But the Bengals owner told reporters he’s not worried about Owens’ past.
“Yes, people can make mistakes,” Brown said. “It doesn’t mean that they go on the rest of their lives making mistakes. They can get their ship pointed in the right direction. This is a 36-year-old man. He’s been through a lot. He’s proven as a player and as a person.”
Owens is third all time in NFL history in career receiving touchdowns (144), third in career receiving yards (14,951) and sixth in career receptions (1,006).