CINCINNATI - The Cincinnati Bengals have reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract with wide receiver Terrell Owens worth up to $4 million.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the deal is for $2 million with another $2 million possible through incentives. Owens is expected to be in attendance on the first day of the team’s training camp on Thursday when he will officially sign the contract.
A multitude of reports on the marriage have all cited a league source, but since the news first broke Tuesday afternoon members of the team have lined up to all but confirm the report.
The move brings together two of the league’s most outspoken players in Owens and fellow wideout Chad Ochocinco, who wasted little time in chiming in on the developments via Twitter, posting: “Terrell Owens is officially a Cincinnati Bengals, Cincy let’s welcome him with open arms, it’s on now!”
He was later quoted on the team’s website saying: “You don’t realize how big this is for our team, the city, football. Our offense is going to be unfair. How can you stop us? There are going to be some games (Bengals running back) Cedric Benson is going to be able to play without his cleats. I don’t think there has ever been a tandem like this.”
Later in the day head coach Marvin Lewis praised the signing.
“Our team is excited and pleased across the board,” Lewis told the team’s website. “Terrell is a proven, productive player who can come in and help us. It’s a big move for us, one that we really think is going to help us.”
The Jets and Rams were also thought to be interested in the flamboyant Owens. The 36-year-old caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns last year in his lone season with the Buffalo Bills.
Owens spent the previous three seasons in Dallas and the two before that with Philadelphia, all while often getting caught up in public locker room spats, but also producing as one of the league’s top receivers.
The five-year run saw Owens notch 1,000-yard seasons and double-digit touchdown receptions in all but one of those years. The Eagles suspended or left Owens inactive for the final nine games of the 2005 season because of constant problems with the team’s front office, coach Andy Reid and teammates.
A six-time Pro Bowl selection and third-round draft choice of the 49ers in 1996, Owens played in San Francisco for eight seasons before joining the Eagles for the 2004 campaign.
In 205 career games spanning 14 years in the league, Owens has established himself as one of the best receivers of all-time. He ranks third in NFL annals with 14,951 receiving yards and 144 touchdowns receptions, while ranking sixth in catches with 1,006.