Until Wednesday, the Browns weren't the only NFL team with a high-priced, under-achieving, controversial receiver.
The Browns got rid of their problem when they traded Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets. The Buffalo Bills, who host the Browns Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, are stuck with Terrell Owens.
The plan was for Owens to play one season and help the Bills reach the playoffs. As a small-market team that could be headed to another city, the Bills view Owens as the big-ticket acquisition needed to improve the product and five the franchise a marquee talent.
The plan has fizzled miserably through the first four games. The Bills have a 1-3 record (the victory was over winless Tampa Bay) and have looked bad in back-to-back losses to New Orleans and Miami.
Through it all, Owen has just eight receptions for 158 yards and one touchdown. At least Edwards had 10 receptions before he was involved in a physical altercation outside a Cleveland night club last Monday and was then unceremoniously traded to the Jets.
If Owens can't get back on track against the 0-4 Browns, you can bet he'll make life miserable for those around him for the rest of the season. It's up to the Browns' secondary to make sure that happens, which might be a tall order.
Say what you want about Owens, but he remains a threat at age 35. At 6-3 and 224 pounds, his size and speed will be a load to handle for smallish cornerbacks Eric Wright and Brandon McDonald.
Wright giggled when reminded about the size mismatch.
"It's the same thing every week," Wright said. "(Denver's) Brandon Marshall was way bigger than us and a lot of other receivers (are bigger). It's just a part of the game. Measurables are what they are. We as DBs have to limit their touches and their big plays, and that's what we're going to go out and try to do."
Add Lee Evans' speed to the Bills' mix at receiver, and it will make the challenge more difficult. One factor that could work in favor of the Browns is Bills quarterback Trent Edwards, who's known to have bad games on frequent occasions.
In a 29-27 Browns' win last season in Buffalo, Edwards completed 16-of-21 passes, which looks good on paper. He also threw interceptions, including one by McDonald.
"It's a challenge for everybody," McDonald said. "They have a number of guys that can do multiple things, just like last week (against the Cincinnati Bengals). You have to be sound in your technique and get some things done against them."
The Browns are coming off their best overall defensive showing of the season in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals. Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns on a 23-of-44 showing, but he was intercepted once and went stretches without success.
"As a group it was the best we've played so far," McDonald said. "We can only get better."
The defensive plan probably won't be to isolate one cornerback on Owens. The side he lines up on will dictate whether he's Wright's or McDonald's responsibility.
Both know that what to expect when facing Owens.
"He's a big, physical guy that can create separation and space at times," Wright said. "He's a big threat, basically. You just have to stay tight on him and make plays."
If the Browns can frustrate Owens, their chances of winning will increase accordingly.