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Terrell Owens Finally Released by Philadelphia Eagles

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2006
By: Rob Maaddi, AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Terrell Owens is free to play for any team willing to have him.

The Philadelphia Eagles released the exiled Owens on Tuesday, ending a tumultuous, two-year relationship with the wide receiver.

Owens was due a $5 million roster bonus on Wednesday, so the Eagles had to cut him or trade him before then to avoid paying him the money.

The move was a formality because Owens was kicked off the team in November following a series of incidents and infractions, including repeated criticism of quarterback Donovan McNabb.

The Eagles announced the cut in a one-sentence statement. Team officials said they would not comment.

Owens' publicist, Kim Etheredge, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, both declined to speculate about his future.

The Eagles gave Owens and Rosenhaus permission to talk with other teams in January. The former All-Pro met with the Denver Broncos. Miami and Dallas reportedly have interest in Owens, and Kansas City president Carl Peterson has said he'd consider giving him a one-year, incentive-laden deal. The Cowboys released Keyshawn Johnson on Tuesday, possibly clearing the way for Owens.

Owens helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl in his first season in Philadelphia, but his problems started when he demanded a new contract just one year into a seven-year, $48.97 million deal.

He criticized management, feuded with McNabb, violated team policies and eventually was banished seven games into last season. An arbitrator upheld the Eagles' decision to suspend Owens without pay for four games and deactivate him the final five games.

Owens was set to earn base salaries of $770,000 plus $7.5 million in bonuses in 2006, $5.5 million in 2007, $6.5 million in 2008, $7.5 million in 2009, and $8.5 million in 2010.

It's unlikely he'll get a similar deal from another team.

The Eagles were 17-5 in games Owens played, including playoffs, and 4-9 without him. They finished 6-10 last year, missing the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Owens came to the Eagles after eight often controversial seasons in San Francisco with a reputation for being a playmaker. However, his selfish behavior and flamboyant touchdown celebrations often overshadowed his performance on the field.

He caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2004, and made a valiant return from ankle surgery to play in Philadelphia's loss to New England in the Super Bowl.

From there, it was downhill.

Owens took his first verbal shot at McNabb last April, suggesting the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was tired in the fourth quarter against the Patriots.

McNabb responded harshly and the two didn't speak for a prolonged period in training camp. They briefly reconciled their relationship and performed well together on the field - Owens had 47 catches for 763 yards and six TDs in seven games last year.

Owens was sent home for one week from training camp last August after a heated dispute with coach Andy Reid that followed a shouting match with then-offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

Owens also annoyed the Eagles by breaking the dress code on road trips, parking in coaches' spots at the team's practice facility and sleeping through one team meeting, not bringing his playbook to another and refusing to open the playbook at another meeting.

In early November, the team had enough of Owens' antics after he again criticized McNabb, called the organization "classless" and fought with former teammate Hugh Douglas.

One day after the Eagles told him to go home for good, a contrite Owens pleaded for another chance in a public apology outside his home in Moorestown, N.J., but the team was unmoved.

A five-time Pro Bowl receiver, Owens has 716 catches for 10,535 yards and 103 touchdowns, including two rushing scores, in 10 seasons in the NFL.
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Originally posted by Black Viking:
The former All-Pro met with the Denver Broncos. Miami and Dallas reportedly have interest in Owens, and Kansas City president Carl Peterson has said he'd consider giving him a one-year, incentive-laden deal.

I'd be equally happy to see him go to Denver or Kansas City. Both of those teams need a good dose of cancer.

Raider Nation! scream

Spoken like a TRUE Raiders fan!!

I feel ya, Black Viking!!! kiss tfro
appl for my man TO! Most people assume the Eagles organization behaved so upstanding and honorably from start to finish. Looking forward to the "other" side of the story.

T.O. to tell Philly story in book, disses Eagles in rap

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- news services

NEW YORK -- Now that he's signed with the Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens wants to talk about his two seasons in Philadelphia.

He is writing a book called "Ineligible Receiver: The Real Story of My Journey from the Super Bowl to the Sidelines." It is due out in July.
"Finally, the real T.O. story can be told," Simon & Schuster executive David Rosenthal said. "It's an important chapter in the long-term struggle for players' rights in the NFL."

Owens may have given a hint of his pending story when he recently recorded a rap "diss" track aimed at the Eagles. In a lengthy rap posted on his Web site, the newly acquired Dallas Cowboy openly taunts the Eagles about earning a guaranteed $10 million this season from Dallas.

"When it comes to this game, I'm the best in the field, some said I was gonna sign just a one-year deal, but I got what I wanted up front, 10 mil, changed the rules of the game, so now how you feel?" Owens raps.

Owens also takes shots at the Eagles' management in the rap:

"I got a brand new team, I am a Cowboy now, no more black and green, to the haters that said I'm not going to get my money, I'm laughing in your face, ha ha, that's funny."

Owen's blowup with Philadelphia last season led to new regulations regarding punishment, which were written into the NFL's latest collective bargaining agreement.

Before his actions limited him to nine games last season, Owens had at least 75 receptions and 1,100 yards receiving in five straight seasons.

Owens raps that he is looking forward to a stellar season with the Cowboys:

"And this will probably be my best season by far, no more getting my Eagle on, you can meet me at the stars."

Owens helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl after the 2004 season. This past season, he criticized coaches and teammates, notably quarterback Donovan McNabb. He was suspended at midseason, then deactivated for the rest of the season.

He was released last week and signed with Dallas on Saturday.
I don't know what the exact wording is in the collective bargaining agreement, but there has to be something done about loopholes in Contracts whereby a player can just refuse to play unless he got more money. In T.O.'s case he had just signed his contract a year or so earlier.

I've seen some other Players renegiotate their contract with less fanfare, but there has to be a rule where a Player agrees to a certain Contract for a specific Period of time, and he has to live up to that.

I also believe that Team Owners shouldn't be allowed to sign a player for 5 years, but after two they can cut him and not pay. They want the Player to guarrantee the Team 5 years, but they don't have to guarrantee nothing but what they say they guarrantee in dollars, not length of Contract.

In some cases this guarranteed money is not paid 100% at the time of signing, it's spread out over several years just like signing and other bonus money.

The NFL has the worse Contracts of any Major Sports. A team can even release a Player if he gets hurt. They can release him off the IR Roster. Which they wasn't able to do some years ago.


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