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The real deal behind the T.O. story in Buffalo

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Posted March 10, 2009 @ midnight
Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:26 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

Cute story about Trent Edwards texting CEO Russ Brandon to see if the Bills could go get Terrell Owens. Of course, Edwards wanted him. When I was a kid, I wanted a fire truck. I saw it, I wanted it. Edwards knows what kind of receiver Owens is; he has seen him on TV and at least once in person, when the Cowboys stormed back to beat the Bills in 2007.

Bills WR Terrell OwensOh, to be young(er). Edwards soon will find out what the other quarterbacks Owens has played with have: He'll charm your tail off at first, but once 12 months pass, all bets are off. Actually, I did remember one QB whom Owens has not kicked off his personal island -- Steve Young, who nonetheless has bitten his tongue a lot of times when you can tell he really wants to tell you about the spoiled brat he played with 10 years ago.

But Owens-to-Buffalo is far less about Edwards than it is about Ralph Wilson and money. Wilson is the one who green-lit this deal, no question. He's in the Hall of Fame now, and he knows he can (and has to) roll the dice on his franchise. The instability of the situation suggested the team needed to do something bold. So they went for Owens, a player with name value (good or bad), talent and who fills a need. But it also puts a face on a rather faceless team, and that's the kind of thing that could make Owens even more dangerous.

Think about it: In a way, Owens has been brought in, partly, to help save the franchise. Stomach that thought with some Pepto close by. And once he figures this out, it only will embolden him to be more divisive. 

The smartest thing the Bills did was give him a one-year deal. The riskiest part of it was guaranteeing the whole contract. It might work in the short term -- after all, Owens rarely has been a problem in his first year with his other three teams. It's after that you have to worry about. But if the Bills give him another deal after this coming season, you have to question their wisdom, even if Owens has a big season. Perhaps especially if he does.

Buyer beware -- the Bills and Edwards had better know what they are getting into here. The honeymoon rarely lasts with Owens. 

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