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In 2008, Williams caught only 19 passes for 198 yards in 10 games after being acquired in a midseason trade with Detroit. Part of the reason was his discomfort playing flanker, where he was usually aligned on the right side of the field with tight end Jason Witten. With Owens gone, Williams is flopping to split end and will be the featured target in the passing attack.

Miles Austin and Patrick Crayton are expected to compete for the other starting spot. Signed during the Bill Parcells regime as an undrafted college free agent from Monmouth (N.J.) College, Austin has taken major strides during his first three seasons in Dallas. Because of his previous ties to Parcells and Miami's need at wide receiver, there is the possibility that the Dolphins could sign Austin to an offer sheet as a restricted free agent before the NFL's April 17 deadline. Such a move would require Miami to surrender a second-round pick in April's draft should Dallas decline to match. Crayton is more polished than Austin and can be effective working out of the slot in three-receiver sets.

  • Also see: NFC East offseason moves
  • How T.O. affects ... The economy

    Buffalo has wasted no time selling $80 replica Owens jerseys through its team web site. Curiously, the jerseys feature the number "1" rather than Owens' trademark "81," which is still assigned to second-year Bills wideout James Hardy. A Bills spokesman said Monday that he was uncertain what jersey number Owens would wear in 2009.

    Owens will easily sell more merchandise than every other player on a Bills roster sorely lacking star power. The Sports Business Daily reported that Owens had the NFL's 13th-best selling jersey at www.nflshop.com for the final nine months of 2007 and 2008.

    The Owens acquisition should spur season-ticket sales in Buffalo and bring more mainstream media coverage to a team that has failed to reach the playoffs this decade. It also could lead to more prime-time appearances. Buffalo has hosted only two Monday night games since 1994.

    When Owens said he was joining North America's team, he wasn't kidding. The franchise's financial challenges in one of the NFL's smallest markets led it to sign a five-year deal to play one home game each season in Toronto. The Bills' future in Buffalo is uncertain with the team's pending sale following the eventual passing of 90-year-old owner Ralph Wilson Jr. So anything Owens could do to turn the Bills into a contender would go a long way toward helping keep the team in upstate New York.

    Owens won't have to wait long before taking the national stage. Buffalo plays Tennessee on August 9 in the 2009 Hall of Fame game that kicks off the NFL preseason. The contest will cap a weekend in which the 50-year anniversary of the AFL will be celebrated, as well as the induction of two Bills legends (defensive end Bruce Smith and Wilson) into the Hall of Fame.

    Even so, nobody should be surprised if Owens ends up stealing the spotlight.



    Author:Fox Sports
    Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
    Added: March 9, 2009

    Miami Dolphins News

    News » The T.O. fallout: How he affects rest of NFL


    The T.O. fallout: How he affects rest of NFL


    The T.O. fallout: How he affects rest of NFL
    Gotcha popcorn ready?


    Munch away while reading about the impact Buffalo's signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens will make on his new division, his former team and even the NFL's overall economic landscape.

    How T.O. affects ... The AFC East

    All three of Buffalo's rivals — Miami, New England and the New York Jets — deploy 3-4 defensive schemes, where a fierce pass rush can make amends for a lack of shut-down cornerbacks. Still, expect the Dolphins, Jets and Patriots to take an even longer look at the quality of their secondaries now that Owens will be paired with Bills speedster Lee Evans.

    On paper, the Jets seem most prepared to deal with the Owens-Evans tandem. Darrelle Revis was the division's only Pro Bowl cornerback in 2008. He will now be complemented by Lito Sheppard, who was recently acquired in a trade with Philadelphia. Depth does remain a concern, as Dwight Lowery may be better suited to play safety after a rough rookie season as New York's nickel cornerback.

    Of all the defensive positions in New England, cornerback is the lowest priority financially. The Patriots usually address that spot through the draft or modest veteran signings — Shawn Springs was added last week — while making heavy financial investments in the front seven. Don't expect the Owens acquisition to change what has been a tried-and-true formula. Patriots coach Bill Belichick is 16-1 against Buffalo dating back to December 2000.

    That leaves the Dolphins, who also have taken a conservative approach toward cornerbacks in free agency. Miami declined to match the five-year, $25 million contract that Denver offered to 2008 starter Andre' Goodman, leaving the Dolphins without a comparable replacement on the roster. Miami also lost out on the bidding for former Pittsburgh starter Bryant McFadden, who signed Sunday with Arizona. With the market for top-tier cornerbacks having dried up, the Dolphins seem likely to address this position with at least one first-day pick in April's draft.

  • Also see: AFC East offseason moves
  • How T.O. affects ... The Dallas Cowboys

    There's only one Roy Williams left in Dallas — and he should be thrilled. With Owens being released last Thursday, Williams will have a much better chance to show why the Cowboys have made such a heavy investment in him.

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