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Hobson: Still an outside chance the Bengals sign Terrell Owens

Even though we've brought up the idea that the Bengals could draft Dez Bryant if he falls, and even though the Bengals did sign Antonio Bryant earlier in the offseason, there's rumblings about where Terrell Owens could go. And the Bengals could still be one of those teams, writes beat writer Geoff Hobson.

I would think if the draft comes and goes and T.O. is still out there and you can get him for a million or $1.5, they’d probably talk about it. They wouldn’t pay him much more than that. Not after giving Bryant $7 million per year.

It would be intriguing to say the least. Ryan Fitzpatrick, the former Bengals quarterback who threw to him last year in Buffalo, told us last month he still has great explosion and would be a good fit here because of Carson Palmer’s personality and Chad Ochocinco’ presence. It might be just crazy enough to work and the price would be right.

But I give it only a 15 or 20 percent chance for a variety of reasons. The major thing being the money. T.O. sounds like he’s pretty adamant on $5 million, but he may choose to hang on until training camp to see what transpires. He may be banking on a team suddenly finding itself desperate.

It is right to keep an eye on him, though. Marvin Lewis liked him. Carson Palmer passed muster on him. And The Ocho still lobbies for him. But the price has to come drastically down.

However, one wouldn't expect the Bengals to sign Owens if the team finds themselves with a wide receiver early in the NFL Draft. Where would Owens fit? And if the Bengals sign Owens while drafting Dez Bryant, where does that leave guys like Quan Cosby, Jerome Simpson and even Andre Caldwell? Sure, they're young and could be here long after Owens leaves, or when the Bengals should question themselves on re-signing Chad Ochocinco when his contract runs out after the 2011 season (a season that might not happen at all). But if Caldwell and Simpson sit because of veterans like Owens, Chad and Antonio Bryant ahead of them, with the obvious promotion of a guy like Dez Bryant, then where and when can they grow?

Still, Matt Bowen writes that Cincinnati "is an option for Owens and possible chances like this one could be sparse. It is still early April, but teams aren’t lining up to bring T.O. in for a visit, and I expect that to continue till after the draft."

Either way, this is all speculative and fun offseason fodder that was raised by the fact that Owens has generated little interest with other NFL teams -- maybe because of his $5 million asking price. And as Hobson points out, the Bengals are most likely in the $1.5 million range.