It's been over a year since we first debated whether or not Terrell Owens should become a Patriot.
At the time, Patriots fans were decidedly against it, voting 55 percent for "N-O" and just 45 percent for "T.O."
But have feelings changed?
Just this week, Owens appeared on a Boston radio station to promote his TV show. Since he's currently without an NFL job, he was also asked about his thoughts on possibly joining the Patriots.
"I can go there and take less of a role, take less money and put everything aside and make it work," Owens said, in part. "I'm available. Coach. Mr. Kraft, I'm available. I can play. I'm in shape."
On the PFW Blog, fan sentiment seems to have swung in T.O.'s favor.
But the stances of the PFW writers haven't changed since last year, when we first posed the question:
Should the Patriots sign Terrell Owens?
Read the updated arguments by Erik Scalavino and Andy Hart, then cast your vote in this week's poll (and if you haven't already done so, please "Help Vince" ... details here on patriots.com).
Erik Scalavino says, "N-O!!! …"
The bottom line is to win, right? Good, we agree. And the bottom line is, the Patriots don't need T.O. to win.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots scouting department have done a good job of upgrading the wide receiver position this year. Bringing in veteran Torry Holt was a solid move, and drafting Taylor Price in the third round adds talent to the younger end of the roster. Last year's rookie class at the position included both Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman. The former looks to be recovering nicely from his knee problems, and the latter proved himself to be a more than capable NFL receiver who continues to improve.
Adding a player like Owens, whom you would be forced to insert into the lineup, would only detract from the much-needed development of the young receivers. That's not beneficial for the team long-term.
Owens said all the right things on the radio the other day, and he was conspicuous in his relative absence from the tabloids in his one year in Buffalo last year. But that doesn't have me convinced that he won't do what he's done in other locker rooms around this league over the years – disrupt the chemistry.
I still believe T.O. would do more harm than good here in New England. And in a year when leadership and team chemistry is so important (remember how much the lack of it was raised as an issue in '09?), the last thing the Patriots need is a potential tinderbox called T.O.
Andy Hart says, "T.O.!!! …"
I've been in support of signing T.O. since we first started debating this topic last March. That was before T.O.'s recent self-promoting, throwing-it-out there voicing of his supposed desire to join the Patriots. I bet he says that to all the girls … I mean teams. But who cares?
The reality is that the future Hall of Famer still brings talent to the football field. But he's more desperate now to find a team, a job and a role. He wants to remain relevant and to win. Neither of those was true in 2009 in the wasteland of Buffalo. He doesn't have a ring. He's been humbled, to some degree. He'd come to New England with hat in hand and mouth shut, willing to do whatever's asked of him.
And at a low cost. We're not talking about millions of dollars or long-term deals. It would be short money for one year. If problems arise, you can send him packing at any time. But, I ask you, when was the last time T.O. was a problem in his first season with a new team? The answer is never. His honeymoon seasons a quiet off the field and productive on it.
To me, there really isn't much of a debate here. Would T.O. be one of the top five or six wide receivers on the New England depth chart? Would you rather have him or Brandon Tate (or Sam Aiken) running deep down the field opposite Randy Moss? Answer those questions honestly and you can't vote any other way than in support of bringing an aging but still productive playmaker to the Patriots. The cost is right. The need is there. The time is right.
Go for the gold, bring T.O. into the fold! With T.O. it's off to Dallas for the Super Bowl we go! T-O! T-O! T-O! T-O!
So, what do you think?Voice your opinion by voting in this week's Debate Friday poll.