Sports with Art Thiel
11:04 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Seahawks' signing of Terrell Owens 'low risk,' fills a need

The Seahawks open their preseason Saturday night with a home game against former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans.

This comes just days after the Hawks named their new starting quarterback - former Green Bay backup Matt Flynn - and signed controversial wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Veteran Owens brings baggage and talent

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says Owens has had a bumpy career in the NFL. The Seahawks are his sixth team.

"He is a much-maligned guy but mostly he's kind of immature and foolish and silly and an attention hog. But he's not a bad guy. There are no criminal issues. He's just kind of a fool. He's messed up so much. Now he is - late in his career at age 38 - coming to the realization that the world outside the NFL is a cold, dark place. And he would rather be in part of it than completely out of it."

Owens played arena football in Texas this past spring, after sitting out of the NFL all last season following knee surgery.

"His 15-year career up to that point had been full of controversy and full of success. He's the second-leading pass catcher in NFL history behind Jerry Rice. But he's No. 1 in controversy. And I'm sure every Seahawk fan who heard of his signing put palm to forehead and said 'Oh my gosh why do we need this guy?'"

Short contract + little money = low risk

The Seahawks signed Owens to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum salary of $1 million. Art says it's low risk for the team because they can pull the plug at any time.

"If he does what he's done in past situations, which is to abuse his quarterback and his coach and be very disruptive to team chemistry - he's gone. Pete Carroll won't put up with it. And he knows that he doesn't want to be back out there in the real world. So, it's a tremendous incentive for him to shut up."

Seahawks can use Owens' talent, experience

With No. 1 wide receiver Sidney Rice coming off two shoulder surgeries, Art says the Seahawks were short-handed at that position. And he says Owens has a lot to offer.

"He is in absolutely superb condition. He's still big, he's still strong, he's still fast."

New quarterback can handle leadership role, Owens

Art says the Seahawks new starting quarterback Matt Flynn, is excited about having Owens on the offense. And he's mature and talented enough to manage Owens' personality.

"Flynn is young enough to say 'Gosh, I got to watch Terrell Owens growing up and now I get to throw to him!' Flynn is thrilled to be throwing to him. And Flynn is such a stable, secure personality that I don't think the quarterback killer reputation of Owens is going to come out. And if it does, Flynn is going to have the backing of the entire offense as well as the coaching staff. So, all the power lies with the Seahawks in the relationship and Flynn is very mature and able to handle it."

You can read more of what Art Thiel has to say about the signing of Terrell Owens at Sportspress Northwest.