Jamie Dukes Solution to Miami Dolphins Problems at Wide Receiver; Terrell Owens
It is no secrete around the league that the Miami Dolphins need help at Wide Receiver. During the 2012 offseason Miami traded Pro Bowl WR Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears. Last season, Marshall had 81 receptions for 1,214 yards and six TDs. The two notable veterans returning this season in Miami Davone Bess and Brian Hartline combined last year for just 1,068 yards receiving between them, which leaves Miami looking for someone to become QB Matt Moore’s new number one target.
Through free agency, the Dolphins acquired Legedu Naanee and Chad Ochocinco. Naanee is coming off an unimpressive 2011 season; he caught just 44 passes last year, for 467 yards and one touchdown. Former Pro Bowler, Chad Ochocinco is coming off an even more embarrassing year with the New England Patriots. In 2011 Ochocinco caught 15 passes, for 245 yards, and one TD. One could only imagine how pour his output will be this year now that he is no longer receiving passes from Tom Brady.
The NFL Network’s Jamie Dukes believes he has the answer to the lack of play makers at WR for Miami. “The guy [Miami] needs to bring in — I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it — is Terrell Owens,” Dukes said Friday on the NFL Network. “Terrell Owens, I believe if healthy, is a top-25 receiver. He had a great year in Cincinnati and Chad [Ochocinco] and T.O. have worked together before in Cincinnati.”
I watched this in utter disbelief, at first I thought maybe Dukes was joking, but Dukes explains why he thought Owens was a great fit for the Dolphins. Owens (who is 38 years old and has played in 14 seasons), is better than anything Miami currently has at WR, outside of Ochocinco, and that Miami needs excitement to sell tickets. Owens could help in both categories.
Unfortunately, Dukes didn’t explain how Owens was a better option than what they have, or how Ochocinco is better than anyone of the other options at this point.
Owens is coming off of a year away from the NFL, no one wanted to sign the veteran receiver after he suffered a knee injury late in the 2010 Cincinnati Bengals season. He even went as far to prove he can still play by joining the Indoor Football League’s Allen (Texas) Wranglers. Owens did manage to catch 10 TDs in only 8 games for the Wranglers, but now Owens is in a legal battle with Wrangler’s ownership, saying the team had breached their contract with the aging WR. This is just another instance of a messy divorce between Owens and a team he has played for.
Off field distractions and poor locker room chemistry is one of the biggest reasons Marshall is no longer a Dolphin, for this reason bringing in Terrell Owens makes no sense at all to me. Dukes is a credible source for NFL opinions, especially seeing that he spent 10 years in the NFL as an offensive lineman, but his belief in Owen’s fitting in with the Dolphins is completely off base. If the Dolphins are still looking to bring in help at the WR position through free agency, the team should look at another one of Ochocinco’s former teammates first T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Both in Cincinnati and at Oregon State.) Houshmandzadeh has always been a stabilizing factor for Ochocinco; he may be what was missing for Ochocinco in New England.
Other Notable free agents at WR that are still unsigned include former Dolphin Greg Camarillo, Plaxico Burress, Braylon Edwards, and Mike Simms-Walker. Any of the above may be as talented at this point in their careers as Ochocinco or Naanee, but even with the Burress self-inflicted gunshot wound situation, would make better teammates than Owens, a guy who can’t leave town without stirring up trouble first.