RENTON – Leave it to the always-optimistic Pete Carroll to offer a lifeline to an aging veteran seeking one final dance on the big stage.
After an impressive workout Monday morning, the Seattle Seahawks agreed to terms with future Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens on a one-year deal.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to an ESPN report Owens agreed to a $925,000, veteran-minimum deal.
Seattle still has to release a player to make room for Owens on the 90-man roster. He isn’t expected to join the team until Wednesday. The Seahawks return to the field this morning after taking Monday off.
The Seahawks have been a way station for receivers long in the tooth the past two weeks. Owens is the third veteran receiver to join Seattle’s roster in the last 12 days. The Seahawks cut 31-year-old veteran Antonio Bryant on Sunday. Braylon Edwards signed with the Seahawks a week ago; the 29-year-old received a handful of snaps with the starters over that period as he fights for a spot on the team’s final roster.
However, the 38-year-old Owens is the most decorated of the three. Owens is a six-time Pro Bowl player and five-time All-Pro selection in his 15-year career, which includes stints in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati.
Owens ranks second all-time in the league in receiving yards (15,934), fourth in touchdowns (156) and sixth in catches (1,078).
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver last played in the league for the Bengals in 2010, finishing with 72 receptions for 983 yards and nine touchdowns.
Owens has experience working in the West Coast offense from his time in San Francisco and Philadelphia, so he should pick up Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s version of the offense quickly.
Owens provides experience and depth for a team lacking both at receiver.
Sidney Rice has been limited in practice as he returns to the field after surgeries on both shoulders. Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette have been slowed by nagging hamstring injuries.
And apparently Owens is in shape. According to an ESPN report, Owens ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds during his Monday morning workout, leaving Seattle players saying he’s back.
“The man still got it!” said Baldwin via Twitter.
Added rookie receiver Lavasier Tuinei via Twitter: “Just saw T.O. Workout for Seahawks the man still has it. Hope he comes to camp because I can learn a lot from him!”
Owens has fallen on hard times. He had ACL surgery on his left knee in April 2011. And despite an intense rehabilitation effort to make it back to the field in six months, no one signed Owens for the 2011 season.
The only opportunity offered to the proud receiver was a job in the Indoor Football League playing for the Allen Wranglers just outside Dallas.
Owens finished with 35 catches for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing eight of 11 games. But Owens was released and lost an ownership stake in the team in May, after reportedly refusing to play in two road games and skipping a charity event.
Owens has earned a reputation for being a disruption in the locker room during his career, which could spell trouble for a Seattle roster that is one of the youngest in the league.
However, Carroll has proved unwilling to put up with malcontents, moving along players like T.J. Houshmandzadeh and LenDale White when they threatened to harm the tight-knit culture that took him three years to create in Seattle.
Owens played with running back Marshawn Lynch in Buffalo, linebacker Matt McCoy in Philadelphia and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald in Cincinnati, so seeing those familiar faces could help ease the transition.
Owens also played with Seattle linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr. in San Francisco.
The Seahawks have not announced what number Owens will wear. But No. 81 already is taken by Golden Tate, so perhaps he’ll have to settle for the No. 84 left vacant when Bryant was email@example.com