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Where will T.O. go? A look at 31 possibilities

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Jay Glazer

Jay Glazer is one of NFL's top insiders. In addition to providing breaking news, columns and video, he appears weekly on "FOX NFL Sunday." Visit Jay's exclusive page for hot scoops and watch MMAthetics and The After Party.

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Perhaps the most asked question inside the NFL now is: Where will Terrell Owens play next? There are 31 other teams where Owens did not carve up the QB for the sound bite of the week. There are 31 other coaches that Owens did not push over the edge (actually, make that 30 as Steve Mariucci may have something to say about this). Surely, one of the greatest receiving talents of this generation will be given another chance, won't he? Heck, if Mike Tyson can use Evander Holyfield as his personal cannibalistic smorgasbord and be allowed back into the sports arena, why can't T.O.? He didn't use racial epithets to anger an entire city like John Rocker did, another sports villain allowed from team to team. Heck, he didn't even incur the absolute and primitive wrath of gridiron fans the way Ryan Leaf did and yet even Leaf was given a third shot. Working on the assumption that Owens will be back to take a verbal swing at yet another quarterback someday, somewhere, we decided to take a look at all 31 of the other teams and analyze his chances of landing in a city near you next year. Much of the information was gathered during conversations with head coaches, GMs and team presidents. Other teams I've simply used whatever rationale I have remaining after being drained of all of my cell phone batteries (that's right, plural, batteries) in the wake of The Owens Armageddon. But before we take a team-by-team look at potential interest, we must first look at the effect of his actions. Owens' events will surely cause a chain reaction of behind-the-scenes talk he will have no control over stopping. People inside the NFL talk every day. Owners talk to other owners. GMs talk to GMs and coaches talk to coaches. For some reason they often call each other regarding free agents and actually believe what the other has to say. Trust us on this one folks, Reid, president Joe Banner and owner Jeff Lurie will be asked by their brethren about the whole truth on T.O. and there's probably loads behind the scenes they haven't revealed to John Q Public or Jay Glaze Insider. So that's strike one vs. Owens. Strike two? Players talk, especially at the Pro Bowl. Every year the Pro Bowl proves to be a wonderful recruiting area for players to convince others to join their squad via free agency. Actually, it happened two years ago when an injured wideout from the 49ers went to Honolulu and was heavily recruited by a QB named McNabb. Now let's reverse the process. Imagine the forum McNabb will have at the pool or in practice where he too will allow his cronies into just how much of a nightmare the wideout was behind the scenes. That message could, in turn, be delivered back to the teams of inquiring minds. Strike three? This whole debacle was caused by Owens' desire for guaranteed money. What happens when he hits the open market and his money, guaranteed or not, isn't anywhere near where he hopes? That will certainly throw a wrench into his plans and his happiness. Most teams we've talked to insist any deal a team would throw his way would have to be loaded with incentives as well as a clause that would demand back money in the case of insubordination or conduct detrimental to the team. Pretty much a copy of the Ricky Williams deal with Miami. That contract called for Williams to make base salary and bonus money based upon performance. Each year he was to have his salary increase and be given a bonus based upon his numbers and the team's offensive stats. The contract, however, was accompanied by a clause that stated if he pretty much breathed wrong he'd have to give back all previous salary and bonuses accrued as a result of his incentives. But despite the three strikes that Owens has working against him, somebody, somewhere will have the big guy stirring it up in a locker room near you next year. Let's take a look at all 31 other locker rooms and try to figure out which locker room it may be:

NFC

Atlanta Falcons — T.O. has stated his desire to play near his home. Owner Arthur Blank has stated his insistence that it ain't gonna happen. President/GM Rich McKay has also told me it won't happen and T.O.'s former offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp, who Owens lashed out at on national TV, says that the bombastic wideout simply wouldn't fit into their locker room. Different personalities. Sorry T.O., nothing but a pipe dream. Arizona Cardinals — I could totally picture Denny Green welcoming T.O. with open arms if he hadn't already invested in Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. I'd love to see T.O. breaking bread at some discount eatery with the Bidwells on a recruiting trip. Carolina Panthers — Absolutely not. Doesn't fit the Richardsons and certainly doesn't fit coach John Fox. Chicago Bears — Not the type of guy ownership or head coach Lovie Smith would really want to bring in. The Bears are a run, run, run and let-our-defense-take-care-of-the-rest team. Plus, Smith has created tremendous locker room chemistry. Owens simply wouldn't fit. Dallas Cowboys — We love this fit. Just the type of guy the Jones Boys would love to stick it to an NFC East foe. The world says they don't have a true No. 1 down there? Throw him in with Bledsoe's deep ball and Keyshawn's still-steady production and there could be something to fear. Plus, Parcells' persona may be just what the doctor ordered. Come on Dallas, pull the trigger. Two wideouts cast off by their teams looking to wreak their vengeful havoc on the East, that's the stuff of reality TV, baby. Detroit Lions — Who knows what this team will do or where they are going? Will Mooch and/or Matt Millen be back? Who will be the QB next year? If it's Jeff Garcia, let's just move to the next team. Plus, they already have three No. 1 picks at receiver. They do need a veteran wideout to show the younger kids how to truly be a professional, but they don't need it to be T.O. Wouldn't it be great, though, to see the look on Mooch's and Garcia's face if Millen, even jokingly, told them he's bringing Owens in for a visit? Only Ashton Kutcher could pull off that extravagant of a stunt. Garcia was already on Punk'd once before. Green Bay Packers — Not new GM Ted Thompson's type of guy. They were worried enough about Ahman Green's off-field domestic incident. Imagine how much they'd worry about Owens' baggage. Imagine if Owens ever played with Favre and publicly lambasted this QB? That fallout would be pay-per-view worthy. Minnesota Vikings — Depends on who the Vikings hire to be their personnel guy/GM and head coach. But considering how many problems they've already had, the last thing they need is to float the boat of controversy some more. New Orleans Saints — Depends upon who the coach is next year. The Saints have never been afraid to take chances on guys but they already have one outspoken, creative TD celebrator in Joe Horn. Don't know how to read this one. New York Giants — Coughlin and Owens? Yeah baby, we'd love to see it. The coach's fine jar would be filled on a weekly basis. You've got a better shot of finding Owens and Reid in a bathroom stall together in Tampa than you have of Coughlin bringing him to the G-Men. St. Louis Rams — Not a bad fit opposite Torry Holt as Isaac Bruce isn't getting any younger or healthier. However, there is no way to know about this place as they will have a new coach and a new personnel man after the year. San Francisco 49ers — Definitely not Mike Nolan's type of guy. Plus, there's already been too much damage done between Owens and the Yorks. They wouldn't go through it again. Seattle Seahawks — Can't see Mike Holmgren taking on Andy Reid's baggage. This is another place where the coach-to-coach communication hurts Owens. Tampa Bay Bucs — I could see it. Bucs GM Bruce Allen and head coach Jon Gruden don't like people telling them who they should and shouldn't sign (i.e.: Darrell Russell). Gruden loves explosive playmakers. However, Gruden is also an Andy Reid guy so the info he receives may be too much for him to bear. Washington Redskins — Snyder probably would; Gibbs definitely wouldn't.

AFC

Buffalo Bills — Not Mike Mularkey's type of guy. However, he could be a bit tempted in order to help J.P. Losman in the future. Then again, naaaaah. Baltimore Ravens — Didn't T.O. already publicly rip Ozzie Newsome for using the race card when Owens was originally sent to the Ravens? Wait a minute, didn't Owens already do whatever he could to get the heck away from the Ravens? Cincinnati Bengals — Marvin Lewis already runs the NFL's version of Kinder Care, he won't add T.O. to the mix. Cleveland Browns — The Browns actually could make some sense as they need to build every area of the squad and have loads of cap room and cash from which to do it. He and Braylon Edwards can compare marketing deals and Edwards could actually learn from T.O.'s work ethic (despite the extraneous garbage, Owens is a workout and treatment fiend and has a terrific work ethic). However, Cleveland is still a couple of years away from being a serious contender. Owens' suitor will likely be a team that thinks it sits just around the corner from the whole enchilada. Denver Broncos — Now this is Mike Shanahan's type of signing. Shanny has shown a penchant for signing others' unwanted and unloved in an attempt to show he can resurrect. Rod Smith is still effective but they need another true threat in that offense as time goes on. This one seems as likely as any other place. Houston Texans — Depends who runs the place next year. Pitting him with young stud-in-the-making-if-he-can-stay-healthy Andre Johnson could be lethal. Indianapolis Colts — Can't fit him into salary structure of the offense. Plus, they don't need him disrupting the Manning-Harrison Zen that fellow Zen-like, laidback leader Tony Dungy basks in. Jacksonville Jaguars — Coach Jack Del Rio admitted he doesn't mind handling the alpha-male type of NFL personality. However, at the same time, Del Rio admits that owner Wayne Weaver told the coach and front office when Owens was on the market (sort of) last year that bringing him down to J'Ville was out of the question. Kansas City Chiefs — Kansas City has shown a history of being aggressive in the off-season. It also depends who the Chiefs' coach is next year. Owens and Tony Gonzalez would be lethal together and the Chiefs often move as if they are just a piece or two away from turning the corner. Still, I'm not so sure I can see old-school Lamar Hunt agreeing to this one. Miami Dolphins — Nick Saban needs another true weapon in that offense and the offensive coordinator has already handled Randy Moss. Plus, Lil' Nicky isn't the type to let league sentiment steer him either way. He doesn't seem to care about personas, just whether or not a guy will help the team. New England Patriots — Next. New York Jets — The front office wouldn't do it, but Herm Edwards believes he can make most players follow his path. I seriously doubt, however, that they would bring him closer to the Big Apple. Oakland Raiders — Perfect fit, but not enough cap room. The Raiders currently have more money toward next year's cap than any team in the league. Plus, think of all the extra money they'd have to spend on ear plugs and anti-anxiety meds for Kerry Collins if they threw Moss, Porter and Owens at him. Pittsburgh Steelers — Antwaan Randle-El is free to leave after the year, but the team's ownership, one of the sturdiest in league history, won't view him as their type of guy. San Diego Chargers — This fit I love. The Chargers have loads and loads of cap room and the sunny landscape of San Diego should be enough to make the harshest of Eagles float in the breeze. Imagine an offense with L.T., Gates and T.O.? Keenan McCardell would be the perfect complement. I love this fit. I don't know if GM A.J. Smith would do it as the team could be soured by the David Boston experiment. But I love this fit. Tennessee Titans — Titans coach Jeff Fisher could handle him but it's not likely considering he doesn't really fit with what they are trying to redo over there. Plus, Fisher would likely be swayed by what he hears behind the scenes from the Eagles.
Tagged: Bills, Bears, Browns, Broncos, Lions, Packers, Titans, Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, Vikings, Saints, Eagles, 49ers, Buccaneers, Ravens, Cardinals, Chargers, Texans, Ahman Green, Tony Gonzalez, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Randy Moss, Joe Horn, Ricky Williams, Kerry Collins, Jeff Garcia, Anquan Boldin, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, J.P. Losman, Braylon Edwards

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