T.O. finally receiving serious interest, as Rams make a push for WR

JACKSONVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 22:  Reciever Terrell Owens #81 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports that the Rams are serious about signing Terrell Owens to a contract, presumably because they want to stunt the growth of rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. (Just goofin’!…Kind of.)

The Rams asked Owens through his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, if he would consider a serious contract proposal, even though they are not considered a playoff contender. Rosenhaus told the team Owens would definitely consider it, sources said.

Apparently the Bengals are also still in the mix for T.O.

The Cincinnati Bengals, as reported by ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, are also engaged in talks with Owens. The Bengals signed free-agent receiver Antonio Bryant during the offseason but Bryant has struggled so far. According to a team source, that has motivated the Bengals to take another look at Owens.

One source said the Rams have gotten very aggressive in their pursuit of Owens and it’s possible that Owens will sign with the Rams or Bengals within the next 48 to 72 hours.

However, the Bengals still have given no indication they’re ready to offer a contract. They want to get a good look at their young wide receivers and have five preseason games to do it. They need some of those guys to play special teams. Chad Ochocinco, Bryant and Owens would not be special teams-type guys, so it’s uncertain how quickly the Bengals would react if they sensed he was about to sign with someone else.

The names listed on the Rams’ receiving depth chart aren’t going to stand out: Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson, Mardy Gilyard, which is why signing T.O. makes sense on the surface. But believe it or not, all three of those wideouts still have a lot of upside and if they can stay healthy, I for one believe that St. Louis could have a solid receiving corps in 2010 and beyond. I wouldn’t view signing T.O. as a bad thing necessarily, I just don’t think it would be necessary for a team like the Rams.

The Bengals, on the other hand, make more sense. There wouldn’t be much concern that T.O. would damage the team’s locker room (really, how more can it be damaged?) and Cincy has a veteran quarterback in Carson Palmer who could deal with a personality like the one Owens has. Plus, a trio of Ochocinco, T.O. and Antonio Bryant would, at the very least, be an upgrade over the unit the Bengals had last year. Not that T.O. is an elite receiver or even a great No. 2, but he could be a decent complementary piece in an improved Cincinnati passing game.

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