On Monday morning Denver Broncos safeties Nick Ferguson and John Lynch were watching an ESPN “SportsCenter” segment that speculated Denver would be the best fit for suspended receiver Terrell Owens. “John asked me, ‘Nick, what do you think, do you think that guy would fit in here?’” Ferguson said. “He can bring a lot to any team. I guess what you have to look at is why he’s had his problems with San Francisco and Philly, and if he came here would he be able to overcome those problems?” The Broncos could face that decision. Owens wants to play for the Eagles or another team this season. An arbitrator will hear his grievance Friday. If the Eagles waive Owens, teams would have to weigh the pros and cons of adding him. PRO RECEIVER COULD PUSH BRONCOS PAST COLTS Owens has 10,535 yards and 101 touchdowns in his career and is arguably the best receiver in the NFL. In 21 games over two seasons with the Eagles he had 1,963 yards and 20 touchdowns. Owens could give the Broncos enough ammunition to win the AFC. There isn’t an available player at any position who could help Denver as much as Owens. Even Mark Schlereth, a former Broncos offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst who has been critical of Owens, couldn’t deny that Owens could push Denver past Indianapolis to the top of the AFC. “From a football playing standpoint? No question,” Schlereth said. “No question.” History shows that Owens could have a huge impact. In 1996 the Green Bay Packers picked up troubled receiver Andre Rison after Rison was released by Jacksonville during the season. Rison helped Green Bay win a championship, catching a touchdown in the Super Bowl. But a lot has to happen before the Broncos get a shot at Owens. If he wins his grievance hearing, Philadelphia could bring him back. Even if the Eagles cut Owens, he would have to go through waivers and any team with a worse record than Denver could claim him before the Broncos had a chance. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan wouldn’t discuss the possibility of adding Owens. “I don’t talk about Terrell Owens, I just talk about this team,” Shanahan said. Getting Owens would be problematic for the Broncos if he became disruptive in the locker room. Philadelphia was in the Super Bowl last season but has tumbled to 4-5 this year. Ferguson said he thought Owens might fit in Denver’s locker room because it is full of veteran leaders. “Maybe having a Rod Smith, maybe he would rub off on him,” Ferguson said. “Maybe he would see that in Broncoland, we don’t do all that talking. We don’t have to.” CON OWENS COULD BECOME A DISTRACTION FOR DENVER While Owens is obviously an asset on the field, he could disrupt the strong chemistry the Broncos players believe they have this year. The Broncos have been burned by reclamation projects before, players like cornerback Dale Carter, defensive lineman Daryl Gardener and running back Maurice Clarett, a third-round pick in April’s draft who was cut before the end of the preseason. “I don’t think (Owens) would have any problems, unless he pulled a Maurice Clarett on us and wouldn’t say nothing to nobody,” Ferguson said. “If you do that anywhere in the NFL, you isolate yourself and make it all about you.” However, Owens had a reputation in Philadelphia for alienating coaches and players. Schlereth said he didn’t think the Broncos would take a chance on Owens because one player can make a big difference in the locker room. “There’s a very thin line that delineates being a good pro from being a jerk,” Schlereth said. “And it’s amazing the gravitational pull a guy like T.O. can have on fringe players. You can bring one bad apple in, and it’s amazing how many young kids who haven’t decided who they’re going to be or how they’re going to behave, how many people that one bad personality can pull to the dark side.” The Broncos would have to deal with a media circus if they signed Owens, and some players have already said that Owens wouldn’t be welcomed easily. After Owens was suspended, Lynch said he would have a hard time welcoming Owens because it is hard not to judge him based on his reputation. Defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban agreed that warming up to Owens would be tough. “When you have a guy who wants to bring the notoriety to himself and be a sore point for the team, eventually it wears down the whole team,” Ekuban said.
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