A restricted free agent, Marshall would cost Seattle a first-round draft pick if signed by the team. It’s entirely possible that the Hawks and Broncos could work out another arrangement whereby Pete Carroll and Co. weren’t forced to relinquish the sixth or 14th pick in the 2010 Draft, but that hypothetical still remains only a distant possibility.
Considering that the Seahawks are desperate enough for wideout help to mull over the loss of a first-round pick, we can reasonably sum up the situation as dire.
Having lost de facto No. 1 receiver Nate Burleson to the Detroit Lions (where he signed a five-year, $25 million contract as an unrestricted free agent), the Hawks are down to a hodgepodge of pass-catching talent.
What they are currently left with are two overglorified veteran possession receivers (T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch), an unproven second-year player (Deon Butler), a guy with potential who can’t stay healthy (Ben Obomanu), and two nobodies (Patrick Carter and Mike Hass). To say the horizon looks bleak at this position would be an understatement.
Rather than mortgage the future by acquiring the talented-but-troubled Marshall, the Seahawks should consider going after a veteran like Terrell Owens. An unrestricted free agent, Owens would cost the team little and provide a reliable stopgap option going forward at wideout.
And while Owens, like Marshall, is no angel himself, the experiment in Buffalo last season should be an indication that he can adapt to a ballclub like Seattle without incident. Forced to endure a tandem of underwhelming quarterbacks with the Bills (Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick), Owens was more or less a model citizen and played out the season quietly and humbly.
In Seattle, the situation could only improve for T.O. With a veteran signal-caller like Matt Hasselbeck to get him the ball, Owens could very well increase his numbers from 2009. With established vets across the middle like Houshmandzadeh and Branch to keep defenses honest, Owens would be allowed to flourish on deep routes, where he is most comfortable. Even at age 36, there are few receivers who are as physically imposing as Owens. And the Seahawks could certainly use that physicality.
The Seahawks don’t necessarily need a franchise wideout so much as they just need someone who can catch passes. At this point in time, their needs are greater across both sides of the line, in the secondary, and at quarterback before they can worry about the receiving corps.
Marshall would be a nice luxury for a team in contention. The new rims on a sleek vehicle. The cherry atop the sundae. The spray tan on the hot chick.
The Seahawks, however, are not a team in serious contention right now. They’re a Datsun, a moldy loaf of bread, a snaggletoothed butterface. They need Brandon Marshall about as bad as Little Miss Ugly needs that orange-glo.
Perhaps if the Hawks really want to get creative, they can sign both Marshall and Owens. Marshall for the future, Owens for the present. If nothing else, it would undoubtedly create one of the more interesting locker room dynamics in all of football.
In all likelihood, however, that scenario will never come to fruition. Not for a first-year head coach like Pete Carroll, who already has enough on his plate.
But if it comes down to one or the other, I’m all for the team ending up with the more affordable and equally-as-talented (albeit older) Owens. A cost-effective solution for a ballclub seeking answers.
Consider it, Seahawks fans. It could become reality.