It looks like Terrell Owens 2009 season will be the only one he spends in Buffalo. The veteran wideout, and two of the longest tenured Bills on the roster will not be back with the club in 2010. Owens, Ryan Denney and Josh Reed were all informed by the club that they will not be offered new contracts thereby making them unrestricted free agents effective March 5th.
“We wanted to inform all three players ahead of the start of the free agency period so they could begin making their plans,” said Bills GM Buddy Nix. “We just felt that was the right thing to do. All three have represented our organization with class and we thank them for their dedication and hard work.”
Owens, who signed a one-year deal with the Bills last March, was brought on board in an effort to jumpstart Buffalo’s offense. However, he struggled to produce as injuries to Buffalo’s offensive line and quarterback shuffling led to all sorts of problems for the team’s passing game. The Bills ranked 30th in passing offense in 2009.
Owens did record the 1,000th catch of his career in his one season with Buffalo in Week 16 at Atlanta becoming only the sixth player in league history to reach the milestone. He moved into third-place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards chart with 14,951 by season’s end.
The 14-year veteran thanked the Bills organization, owner Ralph Wilson and the Bills fans for their support last season via his twitter account.
For Denney and Reed the Bills are the only NFL organization they have ever known. Both were second-round draft choices of the club in 2002. As the last season of their contracts wound down in 2009, both veteran players knew there was a good chance they wouldn’t be back with the team in 2010.
“I’ve been fortunate to be here for eight years,” said Denney. “Obviously they’ve got some young guys coming up through the organization with the intention to play them. It’s not my decision to make. I’ll be looking forward to see what the future holds. I’m excited to see what’s available and what my opportunities are and I’ll go from there.”
“I look back on my career and I had my ups and downs, but I think I’ve been around long enough and I’ve done enough that if it’s not here that I could help some team in this league,” said Reed in December. “I feel like I still have some years in me and can be productive.”
Reed ranks fifth in team history in receptions with 311, while his 3,575 receiving yards ranks 10th on the Bills all-time list.
Denney was a valuable rotational defensive end that also had a solid role on special teams, which included a pair of touchdown receptions each of the last two seasons. He recorded 318 tackles and 23.5 sacks in his eight-year career.