T.O. Won't Land in New York

When NFL free agency opened up, there wasn't a bona fide number one wide receiver on the open market. That was bad news for the Giants, who would have loved to have a replacement for Plaxico Burress lined up before cutting him, and for the Jets, whose offense lacks dynamic downfield playmakers. Late Wednesday night, though, the Cowboys threw a hand grenade into the mix when they released Owens.

The Jets don't have any receivers who can change games half as much as Owens can. Even at 35, he makes defenses sweat. You can't say that about Jerricho Cotchery. As for the Giants, Burress' skill set is probably a better fit for the team, but Owens would make a suitable substitute.

That's just the on-field stuff, though. We need not replay T.O.'s greatest hits, because we'd be here all week, but he'd cause an implosion on either team. If Burress were to clear legal impediments to his return, the Giants could hardly justify replacing him with Owens if the reason has something to do with team chemistry. Several Giants have made it clear they want Plax back next season, which isn't something you hear a lot with T.O.

The Jets have repeatedly said they're confident about going with Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff at quarterback. Giving a young quarterback every chance of succeeding does not include bringing in Owens. If Donovan McNabb couldn't keep him happy, how in the world would Clemens or Ratliff, especially in a system run by Brian Schottenheimer who, as evidenced by Leon Washington, is awful at getting the ball to the right people at the right time.

Earlier Thursday, Patrice Evans pointed out that T.O. hitting the market may clear the way for other teams to start making receivers available. Torry Holt has already asked to be released, news that might get the ball rolling even faster and could wind up benefitting one of the New York teams. But Owens himself will be another city's sideshow.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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