Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

09 Aug 2012

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before

Hey, look, it's Mike Tanier at Sports on Earth! Here he asks the question on everyone's mind: What in tarnation are the Seattle Seahawks thinking signing Terrell Owens?

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 09 Aug 2012

50 comments, Last at 27 Aug 2012, 5:11am by Jerry


by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 2:41pm

T.o. has B.O.

Wonder what a stinky sea hawk semll like?

by Dave0 :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 3:48pm

Wonder what a stinky sea hawk semll like?

smells like a future oakland raider

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 4:57pm

Raiders no interest in T. Owens

Stinky sea hawk probably smell like dead trout or a decaying llama

by A. Diggity :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 8:11pm

Smell Like a Dead Trout /
Or Decaying Llama /
Stinky Sea Hawk, Probably

by dk240t :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 3:45pm

More instant classic Tanier lines, like this gem:

Notice that the primary reason why signing Owens was a mistake has nothing to do with his reputation as a divisive locker room migraine, a reputation that he has been saddled with because of his decade-long commitment to being a divisive locker room migraine.

by Dean :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 4:25pm

I was partial to "there is no reason to think that the guy who ripped McNabb, Romo and Jeff Garcia would have anything non-constructive to say about Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson or Russell Wilson, unless you believe in things like consistent, documented patterns of behavior."

But now we're splitting hairs. Your standard, run-of-the-mill, everyday home run that we've simply come to expect from Tanier.

by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 4:48pm

Yeah, this is all pretty awesome. He destroys the Seahawk's decision with every word, but then keeps throwing out daggers like those just to remind you he has the extra gear and maybe he's even going a little EASY on T.O.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 6:21pm

Sort of like Ty Cobb having a 3-HR game late in his career just to show that he always could -- he just preferred .400 seasons.

Mike Tanier -- Like Ty Cobb, but without the racism and misanthropy.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:46pm

But only if he has his socks pulled up to his knees. That true Tycobb sytle

by Mike Tanier :: Sun, 08/12/2012 - 9:25am

Actually, I am kind of a misanthrope

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 08/12/2012 - 12:15pm


"Like Ty Cobb, but without the vision and speed."

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:21pm

All the quote marks without anyone being quoted makes Trollier seem like one of those nobs that make quote marks with their fingers with the self-delusion they're giving their comments more gravitas.

I loved this, "Here are several of the reasons why signing Terrell Owens was a major mistake. An exhaustive list would be so long that it would tie up your Internet connection." because dial-up internet jokes will never get old.

You think he's got more left in the tank? This article is just juvenile Philly fanboy hatred of Owens.

by Dean :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:12pm

He's shooting the messenger instead of the message. Isn't that cute.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 12:26am

"It was a short-sighted, possibly disastrous decision." Fine. Let’s look at the reasoning behind why signing Owens to a 1 year contract is a disaster:
1. Owens is 38.
2. There are other players available.
3. Owens is not the All-Pro he was in 2007.
4. Owens was signed by Seattle, not New England.
5. Owens hasn’t changed since being an underpaid malcontent with his Eagles in 2005 with the following evidence presented:
a. Owens quit a semi-pro indoor football league team.
b. The incorrect assertion Owens criticised the Bengals while sidelined.
c. Owens wanted the ball more while playing for the Cowboys.
d. Owens cried after a play-off loss while defending his teammate.
e. Owens may have tried to make a half-hearted suicide attempt. (Is he saying “HA- Wot a Loozer!” for trying or for failing? Either way it's a low act)
f. Owens was an underpaid malcontent with his Eagles in 2005
6. There are other players available whose careers might mimic Owens in terms of seasons and teams.
7. The Seahawks have not decided on a starting QB.
8. ????????

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 1:00am

Just for clarification, Owens criticised the Bengals 3 times i could find:
1- said they were terrible after a 49-31 loss to Buffalo where they got outscored 35-0 in the 2nd half
2- said the play calling could be more aggressive after a 31-35 loss to the Saints
3- ripped the organisation on the T.Ocho show when they were 2-11, click name for link.

These were all before his last Bengals game.

by STF (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 12:39pm

I'm pretty sure your 3 counts as "Owens spent the final games of the season criticizing the entire organization while sidelined with an injury." That's what Mike wrote and what you wrote. Your act is tired.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 8:09pm

I wrote: These were all before his last Bengals game.
Tanier wrote: Owens spent the final games of the season criticizing the entire organization while sidelined with an injury.

TO went out early in the Browns game on 19 December 2010, as per the photo caption.

Owens made the comments in point 3 before 15 December 2010, as per the ESPN article that has Marvin Lewis defending Owens. Owens criticism of the Bengals was so bad that his coach defended him, saying "Unfortunately for Terrell, he gets criticized a lot nationally"

Please let me know if you're still having trouble comprehending how i disagree with Tanier on his facts and how it fits into his pattern of being a revisionist shrill.

by jebmak :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 12:20am


LOL @ Jimmy.

I do take issue with him referring to Chris Chambers as a good receiver though.

by Chris UK :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 8:41am

"Trollier"... the "pot" called.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:05pm

I will just say five things:

Owens really needs the money.

The semi-pro team wasn't really offering enough money.

He ran a 4.54 forty.

He knows the Hawks' offensive style.

It might work.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:01pm

He ran a 4.54 forty.

He has alligator arms.

He's 38 years old.

He has narcissistic personality disorder.

It won't work.

by Shattenjager :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:15pm

The "Midseason Form" piece last week was the best thing Tanier has written in about a year: http://sportsonearthblog.com/2012/08/01/nfl-camp-where-even-coaches-are-...

by jebmak :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 12:28am

Thanks for posting that, I had missed it.

Lots of good lines, including (and it's a cheap shot, but I lol'd):

"Mike Mularkey plans to fine players $10,000 for talking about injuries to the media, in the unlikely event that any Jaguars player finds himself talking to the media."

by wr (not verified) :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:00pm

Er, um, the name on this article seems to be Joe Posnaski,
not Mike Tanier. Am I missing something?

Regardless of the author, it's spot on.

by wr (not verified) :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:01pm

#@*(&#@*$#! Nevermind. I be blind.

by Mike Tanier :: Sun, 08/12/2012 - 9:27am

No, that was me.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Sun, 08/12/2012 - 10:22pm

Thanks for responding to criticisms that the signing of Terrell Owens won't be a "major mistake" and a "disastrous decision" that will eventually lead to the Seahawks being unable to accurately assess quarterback play.

On a literary note, in both your March 29 article, 'Walkthrough: The Taint' and this piece you called out others for being revisionist while both of your articles engaged in a retelling of recent NFL history that omitted salient facts for the only purpose of moulding aspects of the tale to fit an overarching narrative.

As an aspiring sports journalist I'm wondering what are your thoughts on whether intellectual honesty has a place in sports writing?

by Jerry :: Mon, 08/27/2012 - 5:11am

Jimmy Oz,

I hope you didn't buy that Seahawks jersey.

by DEW (not verified) :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 12:07am

I was wondering why no one at FO had written anything on this ridiculous signing. Now I know. Tanier sums this up perfectly: what possible good can come of this? Even if Owens somehow makes it through the season without a locker room meltdown, the current version of him is not better than Doug Baldwin. He is not better than a healthy Sidney Rice (hey, if I can assume Owens will be on good behavior, I can assume Rice stays healthy; both are equally unlikely events). He is probably not better than Golden Tate or Ben Obamanu. And none of the above comes with Owens' non-football baggage. Just a sadly ridiculous move on every level.

Though hey, they've now pulled even with the 49ers in terms of offseason signings of once-great WR malcontented divas. Can't overlook that!

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 7:03am

What good? At worst the 'Camp Body' (lets not start sucking each other off with the thought he's a starter) is a future HoF (or Cris Carter pariah) that knows how to turn up in shape. As far as the other aspects beyond ability, he's always on time, even when Philly decided to lowball him, and he's had no issues with the law beyond the OD. Jerry Rice kept himself in similar shape and had 3 1k seasons after missing a year at 35 with a knee injury.

Baldwin will be used in the slot, same size as Bobby Engram 5'10 190. Obomanu 6'0 203 is 29 this year & hasn't done much in the 5 years he's been a pro. Golden Tate is 5'11 195 & entering his 3rd year & is a different animal to Owens at 6'3 226. Sidney Rice is 6'4 200. Braylon Edwards is 6'3 211.

As per your posit that Sidney Rice is likely to get injured, Owens can get cut and get brought in with less fanfare to back up Edwards & play SE in 4 WR sets. Either that or the 38 year old just beat your arse off the team 7 if you're that shite then it doesn't matter if you're getting cut from the Pats or the Hawks.

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 2:36pm

The difference between TO and Jerry Rice being one not being a complete douchebag willing to throw teammates under a Sherman Tank at first grievance. The occasional not doing so does not make any forget the other.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 4:14pm

Philly decided to low-ball him? On what planet did that happen?

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 8:47pm

As per Wikipedia:
Owens made $9 million in 2004 (most of which was bonus money, as his base salary was only $660,000), and was slated to make $4.5 million in 2005. This two-year amount did not place Owens in the top 10 paid wide receivers playing.

When the 2005 football season began, Owens was in the second year of a seven-year, $49 million contract. However, the contract was heavily back-loaded, and while the $49 million figure was routinely touted by the sports media as an example of Owens' greed, the money guaranteed to him was under the annual average for a top-tier wide receiver.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:30pm

That's not low-balling, that's asking a guy to play out THE SECOND YEAR OF A SEVEN YEAR CONTRACT. The low-balling happened, if at happened at all, before 2004 when he signed a back-loaded contract. TO must have not felt it was a low-ball at the time, since he freely signed off on it. But an organization might have reasonably expected to get through year 2 of a contract...

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:41pm

"TO must have not felt it was a low-ball at the time, since he freely signed off on it."

Just because someone agrees to a contract doesn't mean they're happy with it. Maybe he thought after proving his worth in the first year the Eagles would give him a contract closer to what he perceived his worth to be.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:45pm

That's fair. But that's not the Eagles low-balling him. When he signed his contract in 2004, it was touted as one of the largest all-time for a WR. The Eagles smartly understood he had a tendency to blow up his relationships and decided if he wanted to get paid, he'd have to be a good soldier and play nice until the 4th year of his contract. That's not low-balling, that's agreeing to pay someone when they prove than can meets the terms of the deal; i.e. not do everything one can to undermine coaches, teammates and the team in general. TO wildly failed to meet those terms of the contract. If anything the Eagles overpaid for 2005. Just because TO didn't like some of the terms of his contract and spectacularly failed to meet them, doesn't mean he was low-balled.

by tuluse :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:50pm

That sounds more like a classic cut the player before you have to pay them real money contract to me.

Also whether or not it was a low ball contract, it was a stupid contract. Expecting TO to be happy while making 2 million dollars was delusional.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 5:02am

So one presumes the Randy Moss signing is not a good one either?

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 7:59am

Well, Moss is 2 years younger than Owens and he has somewhat less history of malcontentedness (relatively), but yeah, probably.

by Mr Shush :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 8:32am

Moss is younger than Owens, has far more history of being a good citizen and is less disruptive when he's a bad citizen. And the 49ers are close enough to contention that some sort of good version of Randy Moss might push them over the top. I'm not sure the two cases are really that similar.

by chemical burn :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 4:19pm

Moss has gotten himself thrown off teams in-seasons - that's far worse than anything Owens antics have actually engendered. He's made a media circus, but he's never forced a team to lose their jettison their starting WR while the season is still happening. Moss has quit on his team for seasons at a time (in Oakland) and in the championship game twice (versus the Giants and Eagles.) TO played his heart out on a mangled leg in a losing effort in the Superbowl. Say what you will about TO, but Moss is definitely more disruptive and infinitely more prone to costing his teams real live actual games with his bullshit.

Also, the Moss signing in SF will be as bad as the TO signing. Although, i think they will both put up the "Plax" numbers Tanier cites in the article.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 5:09pm

How quickly we forget. TO was suspended by the Eagles for the second half of a season. So yes, he forced his team to jettison their starting WR while the season was happening.

Also, when did Moss face the Eagles in the Super Bowl? And when did he quit against the Giants?

by t.d. :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 6:09pm

he quit against the Giants in 2000, when they lost something like 41-0

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Sun, 08/12/2012 - 12:17pm

Seems like everyone quit in that game.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:41pm

Watch tape of the 2004 NFC playoff game versus the Eagles. (sorry, I thought it was the NFCCG.) It is a masterpiece of loafing in a game in which they were not getting blow out 41-0, but could have easily been competitive with a dedicated performance from Moss. 3 receptions for 51 yards from that 2004 Vikings team that had 39 passing TD's and made their money through the air. He jogged the entire second half - they game was a joke mid-third quarter because he had given up. Eagles fans were celebrating before the 4th quarter even though they were only up 21-7.

Also, you're right TO got suspended (and I was quick to forget) - that season is a nightmare that I try to forget and clearly I'm giving TO too much credit. I just think his Superbowl performance is the exact type of thing Moss wouldn't do - pain through an intense injury in a losing effort.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 6:29pm

You have to account for the writer's grudge against the 49ers.

by Dean :: Sat, 08/11/2012 - 10:18am

Chemical Burn has a grudge against the 49ers?

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:37pm

Yeah, I'm surprised to hear that. I thought they were over-rated last year, think they won't be good this year and know Alex Smith stinks, but I love their defense - Patrick Willis and Justin Smith are pretty lovable players.

I do have little respect for Moss - no great player has ever come up smaller in big games. He's a front-runner and a child.

by Jimmy Oz (not verified) :: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 8:20pm

Terrell Owens sleeps nude in an oxygen tank which he believes gives him sexual powers.

by chemical burn :: Tue, 08/14/2012 - 1:34pm

Hey - that's a half-truth!