The Latest Hypothetical Bear: Terrell Owens

If Cowboys release controversial wideout, should Bears pursue?

According to reports, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and coach Wade Phillips are close to releasing star wideout Terrell Owens. The reasoning? Apparently, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has said he can't continue to co-exist with the receiver, while Jones' son has attempted to convince his father -- a longtime Owens supporter -- to get rid of him for good. Harsh.

In any case, this report led the Sun-Times' always-interesting Neil Hayes to go ahead and ask whether the Bears should take a flyer on Owens and sign him for the 2009 season and beyond:

As we all know, Owens comes with more baggage than the cargo hold of a 747 — and his fan club could fit into the lavatory of the same plane — but few available players could make as big of an impact. With Owens split wide right, Devin Hester wide left, Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark down-the-field threats as tight ends and with Matt Forte in the backfield, the Bears could have a much more dynamic offense regardless of who plays quarterback.

We know the drill: T.O. is talented, far more talented than any other Bears offensive threat, but his combustability and general weirdness threatens to destroy everything he touches. Hayes covers all of these well-trod bases, except one.

For the first time in T.O.'s career, his talent is probably waning. He's still a big, physical receiver, and he's still able to make the big play, but he's also 35 and would be 36 by next December. Receivers rarely maintain their effectiveness past the age of 35. Receivers with questionable hands, that rely on the deep throw, rarely maintain their effectiveness this long. Add in all the typical T.O.-related headaches. Is that 35-year-old receiver really worth the effort?

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