By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Terrell Owens has been cut by the Seattle Seahawks. It may be the biggest in a long list of signs that things are winding down for Owens in the NFL. He may sign with someone else, he may even play in another NFL game, but if he can’t make the Seahawks, there’s probably not much left.
There’s little question that when he finally retires, Terrell Owens will eventually be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game. In the football HOF, players don’t enter as a member of one team, as they do in baseball, rather with all teams listed equally.
That said, if there was a choice to be made, the Eagles are a legitimate one.
Owens played most for the 49ers, spending eight seasons and playing 121 games for them. It’s where he established himself as a player (and a problem).
But it’s not the only choice.
Owens has played for five NFL teams (six if you count the Seahawks), but only been to one Super Bowl.
As Beasley Reece said on the WIP Morning Show today, “Terrell Owens became T.O. in Philadelphia.” Owens only spent one and a half seasons playing for the Eagles, but boy was it a sensational one and a half seasons.
As Beasley said, the Eagles have a song, and T.O. had a song. It’s tough to think of another Eagles player who had his own song. “T-O, T-O, T-O, T-OOOOOOOO).
As Al Morganti noted later in the show, if you can’t go into the Hall as a player, maybe Owens should sign one of those one-day contracts and retire an Eagle.
Owens has called six cities home, but only one of those cities welcomed him with such open arms.
Terrell Owens owned Philadelphia for 2004 and much of 2005. From three touchdowns in the opening game of the 2004 season against the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field, to his unlikely comeback from injury to play in the Super Bowl, Owens was the most popular player on the team with fans.
Owens as an Eagle was more than a player, he was a symbol. He was the sign that the team was ready to make a serious run at a Super Bowl. It was like the Phillies getting rid of Bobby Abreu, signing Jim Thome, and building Citizen’s Bank Park all in one. The days of Todd Pinkston and James Thrash were over. We got “the guy.”
Owens didn’t play in the 2004-05 playoffs until the Super Bowl, but it’s unlikely they’d have been in that final game without Owens catapulting them to such heights during the regular season.
To this day, in the Donovan McNabb vs. T.O. spat that eventually ended his career as an Eagle, many fans still side with Owens. His driveway antics that included in sit ups, pickup basketball, and a ridiculous impromptu press conference are looked back on with a smile, not a grimace.
Owens will likely be remembered as much for his craziness as his greatness, but will always be an important part of Eagles lore.