On his first day as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Terrell Owens was in Los Angeles gathering his belongings.
But he was still the talk of Seahawks training camp.
"Terrell Owens is an unbelievable talent. They brought him in because that's what [the coach] Pete Carroll believes in is competition," said Doug Baldwin, the receiver.
"He's going to come in immediately and compete for a job, and that's what we're all about here."
Owens agreed to a one-year deal with the Seahawks, and was expected to join the team for his first practice on Wednesday. It would be his first NFL practice since late December 2010 when he was enjoying a season of revival with the Cincinnati Bengals.
But in 2011, Owens failed to receive any NFL offers following surgery on his left knee. He started his comeback this spring playing in the Indoor Football League. He had 35 catches for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns while playing eight of 11 games, but was released and lost an ownership stake in the team in May.
Now comes a shot with the Seahawks, who are either desperate or shrewd.
Baldwin said he did not view the Owens signing as an indictment on what is on the Seattle roster. The Seahawks are high on the improvement of Golden Tate, and Baldwin led Seattle in receptions a year ago as an undrafted rookie, but both are smaller receivers.
There is also concern about the health of Sidney Rice, who is coming off surgeries on both shoulders.
That made the Seahawks believers in Owens, 38, who has started 201 of the 219 regular season NFL games he has played, with 1,078 receptions for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns - the second most in league history.
"He's looking for chance to play," Carroll said. "I think that was a very long football season for him last year for him to sit out. I think he's been in transition for more than just this past season, at Buffalo and through his time at Cincinnati."
In regard to concerns about Owens and his troubled relationships with quarterbacks in the past, Carroll spoke with the Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer, who played with Owens in Cincinnati for one season in 2010.
Palmer, who played under Carroll at Southern California, has a high regard for Owens.
"He loved working with him, loved playing with him. He worked out with him, and knows him really well," Carroll said. "It was really pleasing to hear that."
Palmer said he had no problem giving an endorsement for Owens.
"Just knowing [Carroll's] style and the way he goes about teaching and leading his team, I just thought TO would be a great fit," Palmer said. "I really enjoyed playing with [Owens]. It was a great relationship when I was there, and I just let [Carroll] know I thought he would fit in really well with his style. I think they'll have a lot of success together."
Owens and Palmer worked out together in the off-season along with several other Oakland players.
The two exchanged text messages shortly after Owens signed with the Seahawks.
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