Monday, November 07, 2005

Terrell Owens suspended and possibly cut by the Eagles, are his problems just beginning?

Have you ever seen a more insane situation play out in the sporting world than the Terrell Owens and Philadelphia Eagles situation? It is beyond me how out of hand things have gotten.

In case you have been living under a rock, Owens has been trying to get a new contract during the off season and this season as well. He hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, an agent that causes most owners and general managers to cringe when they hear his name. Owens is unhappy with his salary and has been grumbling about it all season.

On top of all this, Owens has been taking pot shots at his quarterback, Donovan McNabb, all season long. This is not something that is new for Owens. Owens slammed his former quarterback Jeff Garcia when he was with the San Francisco 49ers, even going so far as to question Garcia’s sexuality.

The latest Owens attack on McNabb has Owens claiming in an interview that if the Eagles had Brett Favre as their quarterback, the Eagles would be undefeated. Huh? I love Brett Favre, he is a great quarterback, but he is not that great this year. In fact, McNabb has better stats than Favre. McNabb has Favre in yards per attempt, touchdowns, and Favre has 6 more interceptions than McNabb.

Owens was also mad that the Eagles didn’t celebrate his 100th catch of his career. What Owens didn’t know was that the Eagles never celebrate individual accomplishments. He apologized for the 100th TD celebration remark, but would not apologize publicly or privately to McNabb. After a called team meeting and apparently a scuffle with former Eagle Hugh Douglas, Owens was suspended from the team for four games and then he will not be coming back to play on the Eagles.

Now that we have the back story out of the way, I really think Owens needs some professional help. The things he does do not make any sense. He has a pattern of being a horrible teammate and being a selfish person. He is only about himself and doesn’t care what he says or who he hurts as long as he gets what he wants. I guess he is thinking what better way to get a new deal than to slam the team leader and make him look like a fool.

Owens signed his deal with the Eagles because he had no leverage to get a better contract. He blames his current deal on his former agent, when it was possible that he being a selfish child could have been the real problem. After the Eagles got to the Super Bowl and Owens pulled out a great performance in a losing effort, he saw his chance to get a new contract. Or so he thought.

He hired an agent who is famous for getting things done, but he forgot that the Eagles are like the government. They do not negotiate with terrorists. Owens was trying to hold his talents hostage. As I said before, in this world of outrageous salaries, I believe that he is underpaid. Whatever is wrong with him mentally does not take away from the fact he is an unbelievable player on the field, but he is obviously an unstable person.

Before Owens started attacking the leader of the team, McNabb, the players were all in his corner, but when he tried to “punk” McNabb in public, he lost any support he once had on that team. I believe that Owens may not only have jeopardized his career this season, but with his actions he has probably killed his chance to get that big money deal he was looking for all season.

When you are on a Super Bowl caliber team and you cause this much trouble and have to be jettisoned even though you are one of the best receivers in the game, then other teams have to be worried about the effect you will have on their team. Other teams may ask themselves, “If he can have this kind of effect on a Super Bowl team, a team that is winning games, what kind of effect will he have on ours?” That is a very valid question in my mind.

I do believe Owens will find a new home, but he is in the same position he was in when he signed his deal with the Eagles. He has no leverage. Instead of just playing out his contract, being the best receiver in football and signing a big deal after his Eagles deal was up, he has to negotiate a deal coming off a stint as the original team cancer. He destroyed a Super Bowl team with his antics and that will cost him millions of dollars.

What can Owens do to repair his reputation? Well, not much considering he has had a bad reputation since he came in the league and has had plenty of opportunities to make amends for his actions. He must come out and apologize publicly to McNabb and try his best to make himself look contrite. Then he has to do the hardest thing, at least to my thinking, he will be able to do. Keep his mouth shut. If he can do that then that would be a bigger accomplishment than winning the Super Bowl. He will not be with the Eagles next year no matter what, but if he suddenly turns into a Boy Scout, perhaps his act can fool a team into giving him a big deal.

As I said Terrell Owens is a great player on the field, he is probably a great teammate on the field, but in the locker room he kills teams. Philadelphia should have put more stock into his actions in San Francisco as that team was circling the drain in his last few years there. Will some team be willing to take a chance on him? I would think so, but Owens may realize very quickly that he was in a great position to win championship and Donovan McNabb may not have been as bad as he thought when he is on a team with a David Carr or Joey Harrington or Anthony Wright as his quarterback.

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