I am not a TerrelI Owens fan by any means. In fact, I really dislike the guy. However, I like Bengals picking him up for a one year deal.
Owens may not be what he used to be, but he has not been signed by the Cincinnati Bengals to be their number one receiver, or even to be an all-pro. The Bengals have signed him to be the down-the-field-threat that we have not had on the team since Chris Henry was suspended. Owens was signed to be the team's third receiver option, and as an insurance policy against the knee of Antonio Bryant, which might not be healing at the pace projected when he was signed this past spring.
Oh, did you forget that we also signed Antonio Bryant in the off season? Yeah, he will be the Bengals' number two option as long as he stays healthy. Owens is essentially replacing Chris Henry, and the Bengals are not making a large financial commitment to him in order to farce defensive coordinators into the conundrum of having to cover Chad Ochocinco, Bryant, and Owens at the same time. Ochocinco/Bryant/Owens should make double covering anyone impossible, so the passing game should be able to flourish, as the running game should keep defenses honest with Ced Benson in the backfield. In addition, the Bengals also have one of the deepest offensive lines in the AFC, which might actually have to cut some good linemen in training camp that could start elsewhere in the NFL.
In addition to Owens and Bryant, the Bengals drafted receiver Jordan Shipley and tight end Jermaine Gresham, as well as signing veteran receiver Matt Jones. When you take the other young receivers the Bengals have on the roster, there might not be a team in the NFL with a better receiving corps.
The pressure is now on quarterback Carson Palmer to produce.
Personally, I think Baltimore will take a slight step back defensively this year, and that Cleveland is going to show some real improvement. I think Shittsburgh should be at the bottom of the AFCN this year, with Cincinnati repeating at the top.
The Bengals sure do have a monster schedule though...