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John Schneider says T.O. signing wasn’t related to Rice’s health

Terrell Owens

COMMERCIAL IMAGE - In this photograph provided by Wonka, Terrell Owens attends the MTV Movie Awards “NERDS Unite!” gifting suite on Saturday, June 2, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Wonka)


The Seahawks signed Terrell Owens because of Terrell Owens and not because of anything having to do with the other receivers on the roster.

That was the message sent by General Manager John Schneider during an appearance on KJR in Seattle. On Tuesday, Peter King of reported that Sidney Rice might miss the beginning of the regular season, something that suggested a need for help at the position instead of just taking a flier on Owens. Schneider said that Rice’s rehab has been progressing fine as far as the team is concerned and that Owens wasn’t signed because of doubts about him or anyone else already in Seattle.

“We have some young guys we are very excited about. If anything we think this guy, with his work ethic, anybody you talk to on his other teams, whether it be Buffalo or Dallas, Cincinnati or Philly, they all talk about him being the hardest worker out there,” Schneider said, via “If anything it will be positive for these guys knowing that they have to step their game up as well and obviously they look up to this guy. He’s a 38-year-old man that has accomplished a lot in this league and a lot of them were in there watching the workout yesterday and all of them were very impressed like the majority of us were.”

Schneider, who called Owens’ workout “really quite impressive,” also said that he and Pete Carroll spoke to Owens about his willingness to come in and be one of 53 men on a team and left satisfied with his answer. He stopped short of saying that there’s a “zero tolerance” policy in effect, but did say he thought Owens had reached a point in his career where he’s aware of the kind of teammate and person he needs to be if he wants to keep playing football.

Schneider stressed that the Seahawks were doing this now because they felt it gave them a chance to see how Owens would fit in with the team instead of waiting until they were in a “panic mode” later in camp. If he fits, the Seahawks will keep him around, but Schneider didn’t give the slightest indication that Owens is guaranteed anything more than a shot.