Sure seems like the stars are aligned for wide receiver Terrell Owens to land in Cincinnati for the 2010 season.
With talks heating up between Owens (pictured) and the Bengals, it might only be a matter of time — perhaps 48 hours, according to team officials — before he signs on the dotted line.
The only fly in the ointment for the Bengals: The Rams are also interested, and appear poised to make it a horse race when it comes to contract terms. In the end, though, we suspect Owens will wind up in Cincinnati because the Bengals have a far better chance to contend for a Super Bowl this year than the Rams.
Owens has said he wants to play for a winner, and it's hard to see him take the woeful Rams over the Bengals, who made it to the playoffs last year before losing to the Jets.
Of course, if he does wind up in Cincy, this ought to be one of the newsiest teams in the league. Take Chad Ochocinco and sprinkle in a heavy dose of T.O., and the melodrama will be non-stop.
From a pure football standpoint, the Bengals' interest in Owens points up the team's reservations about the off-season acquisition of Antonio Bryant, the former Bucs receiver who inked a four-year, $28 million contract. Bryant is having some knee issues, and was spotty during off-season workouts.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has lobbied team management to acquire Owens, and the combination of the quarterback and Ochocinco's urgings have prompted owner Mike Brown to pursue Owens.
Owens was given a tryout with the Bengals at the same time as Bryant, but the team opted to sign Bryant. There were no plans at the time to pursue Owens, but concerns about Bryant have changed the team's mindset.
UPDATE: Jay Glazer reports via his Twitter account that the Rams have dropped out of the bidding for Owens. It's Cincy or bust.
UPDATE: Might the Jets be interested in T.O.? According to ESPN.com, Jets General Manager Mike Tannenbaum reached out to Owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus inquiring about the 36-year old receiver.
The plot thickens...stay tuned.
UPDATE: ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the Bengals and T.O. have reached a one-year, $2 million agreement. The deal also includes another $2 million in incentives. Last season, Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five TDs for the 6-10 Bills.