Terrell Owens is a prime example of the universal rule of public life: you can be evil, a monster even, but you can not be unlikeable. Owens is unlikeable. He's burned many a bridge and, sorry Dylan, it has not produced a "very nice fire" but only a pile of stinky ash. Stinky ash is the worst kind of ash.
The Seahawks are redolent with Owens funk, and however much we scrub, that funk lingers. And so let's just call this out for what it is.
- Seattle is in desperate need for receivers: I disagree with this. Worse comes to worst, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Golden Tate are a respectable starting two, and Seattle buttresses its nominal receivers with John Carlson. Apart from the dependable players, Seattle has Deion Branch, talented as ever, and his probable six snaps, Mike Williams, who I kind of called my shot on, Deon Butler, [something encouraging], Ben Obomanu, a capable No. 5, a sload of camp bodies and three backs that are capable to good receivers. There are hands to catch and legs to run with. Every team could use more receivers, but Seattle is not in crisis.
- Carroll wants to win now: Carroll wants to win forever, as we all do, but apart from hollow sloganeering, winning forever is about playing the game the right way. General Manager John Schneider seems to get the value of draft picks -- even the late round ones. Seattle may have already burned its chances of recouping a quality pick by signing unrestricted free agents Ben Hamilton and Sean Morey (Chris Baker was cut by the Patriots and so does not qualify), but adding Owens ensures Seattle will be out a pick entirely. Right now, even if Hamilton and Morey stick, the discrepancy in salaries between Burleson and Morey (Redding and Hamilton are paid roughly equal amounts) should land Seattle a seventh-round pick. If the 34-year old Morey does not play to form, he could be cut before the season, and releasing Morey would put Seattle back in the black when it comes to comp picks. Burleson's contract could mean Seattle is awarded a fourth- or fifth-round compensatory pick.
- Owens is a media nightmare: If you're looking for tangible consequences to the Seahawks resulting from the USC scandal, consider that Carroll is probably wary to accrue any additional bad press. Owens is bad press embodied. I have a bit of a soft spot for unpopular players, but Owens is not unpopular because of unsubstantiated rumors, an unwillingness to play nice with the media or social anxiety. Owens is unpopular because he's an ass. Owens is the league's reigning enfant terrible and though his big mouth thrills scandal mongers, it chills any coach preaching order and buying into the system. So, Carroll can not afford the PR hit and as a reborn rookie head coach, Carroll can not afford the leadership hit either.
- No future: The hulking Owens has shown preternatural injury recovery and has mostly bucked the aging curve, so, whatever the cause, he is probably a better bet to contribute at 36 and 37 than most human beings. But 36 is 36 and 37 is 37 and Seattle is not one player away. Owens would likely displace Mike Williams and Williams has a future in Seattle. There is no reason to mortgage the future in any way, be it compensatory picks or lost playing time for developing players, to accommodate someone that won't push Seattle over the top and does not have a future in Seattle or likely the league.
Hopefully that applies some baking soda to this stinker. I am not an Owens hater, per se, and I think he has some value in the right situation and for the right team. The Seahawks are neither the right situation nor the right team, and though something still links Owens to Seattle, that something is, hopefully, only rumor and fanboy day dreaming.