Since I live in suburban Philadelphia, I think I can shed some light on the circus that is Terrell Owens. A few things must be made clear before I start commenting, and that is I've lived in the area for 20 years, and I am NOT a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but I do acknowledge when they play well, and they have won the NFC East the last four years in a row. I am a New York Giants fan, because I was born in NYC and lived inthe area through most of my college years. That said, here is the story, and it will take some time to explain.
Terrell Owens played for the San Francisco 49ers, and is a very talented football player. He is always in superb condition, as was witnessed by him with his shirt off at Eagles training camp this summer. He is one of the top wide receivers in the NFL, and nobody would disagree with that. With San Francisco, he was a distraction, always complaining about his contract and not being thrown the ball enough. He even accused Jeff Garcia, the San Francisco QB at the time (I think he played in the CFL for a while) of being gay. There was no reason for him to do so, but he did it anyway. When he was in the option year of his contract, which was 2004, the 49ers traded him to the Baltimore Ravens, which is somewhere he didn't want to go, but I think there was another trade in the works, and the Ravens traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia fans were exstatic about getting him because they needed a game breaker, and Terrell Owens surely fit that bill. The Eagles negotiated a contract with Terrell Owens and his agent at the time, a Mr. Joseph (I don't remember his first name). He signed the contract under no duress, and it was for 7 years and totalled $48.5 Million. The way the contract was structured, the later years were for alot more money than the early years. Terrell played very well for the Eagles in 2004, and the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, and lost to the New England Patriots 24-21. Terrell caught 14 or 15 touchdown passes in 2004, and he got hurt in the 14th game of 2004 (the NFL has a 16 game season). He hurt his knee and broke a bone in his leg. He was out for the last two games of the regular season, and all of the playoffs (the Eagles played two playoff games in 2004, before the Super Bowl). He made it back for the Super Bowl, and played against doctors orders. He was brilliant, catching 10 passes in the game and scoring once.
Then the problem started, and Terrell complaine about his QB, Donovan McNab, saying he was sick during the Super Bowl and shouldn't have played late in the game. Donovan said he was fine, but there didn't seem to be any urgency on the last drive of the game to try and tie the score, because they seem to take alot of time between plays. Andy Reid, the Eagles Head Coach took responsibility for that , saying he was having trouble getting the plays in on time. This died down but there was more to happen.
Terrell Owens then fired his agent, and hired Drew Rosenhaus as his new agent. Mr. Rosenhaus has about 70-80 clients in the NFL, and his ego precludes him from being in the same room with anybody else, because his head won't fit in the room. In plain English, he's an asshole. Then Terrell wanted to renegotiate his contract that still had six years to run, because of the year he had, and because his agent told him that's what he should do. The Eagles, and rightly so said they would not do that under any circumstances, because it would open them to doing this for everyone else on their team. They told Terrell to go have another year or two of great seasons, and they would be open to doing something for him. That wasn't good enough for old Terrell, so he and his agent were deciding whether he should report to training camp. They decided to have Terrell report, but he wasn't happy and he said he wasn't sure he would stay and not cause problems.
When Terrel reported, he did so at the last possible moment before being declared late, and he kept headphones on at all time when he wasn't on the field going through drill and scrimmages. He didn't talk to almost all his teammates, save a few. He ignored all the coaches except the receivers coach, and skipped the autograph sessions for the wide receivers held at training camp to benefit the fans. He even got into it with Andy Reid, the Head Coach, and told him to shut up. This nonsense went on for a few more days, and the Eagles suspended him for a week. During his suspension, there was a media circus outside of his $4 million mansion in Morrestown, New Jersey, when he worked out and shot baskets in his driveway. There was even a helicopter in the air over his house. He only spoke with the media when he felt it would benefit him. When he came back after this week suspension, he talked to a few of his teammates, no reporters, and Andy Reid only when he had to. He didn't even acknowledge Donovan McNab, who took the high road and never criticized Terrell Owens.
The season began, and Terrell played well, but still took a few jabs at Donovan, and things went on with the Eagles being 4-3 through seven games. Then the Eagles had their bye week and Terrell was at it again, when he was interviewed by a college student reporter. He said he would probably be better off having Brett Farve (Green Bay QB) as his QB, and that Donovan McNab wasn't a very good quarterback because he wasn't getting him the ball enough. Also, some of his teammates weren't very good either and management didn't appreciate him when he scored his 100th career touchdown earlier in the year, by stopping the game and making an announcement.
The Eagles responded by suspending him for four games, which is the maximum they can do. This is costing him about $810,000, and when he would come back from the suspension, they told him not to bother, and they will pay him the $1 million they would owe him for the last five games of the season. The NFL Players Association has filed a grievence and wants the Eagles to release or trade him when he gets back from the suspension, so he can go to another team and try and get any performance bonuses he might be able to earn.
As soon as he was suspended, Terrell and his buddy, Drew Rosenhaus, called a news conference in front of his house where Terrell apologized to all his teammates , management, his coaches, and the fans. You could tell it was written for him (probably by his agent), and the Eagles were un moved and the suspension would stand, and the grievence will be heard by an arbitor on November 18th. Oh, one more thing, in February or March 2005, Terrell Owens skipped a mandatory five day minicamp the Eagles held at their practice complex, strictly because of his problems with his contract.
From all that I've told you, you can draw your own conclusions, but about 80% of the people in this area are happy to see him go. What has been said is he should fire Drew Rosenhaus immediately, and expect that if anyone wants him next year (I'm sure Al Davis in Oakland will be interested), the new contracts offered will be for only 1 or 2 years, and not for the money he thinks he's worth. Terrell is 31 years old, and should have at least 5-6 more good years, but who wants that headache. I'll be very interested to hear your comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this novel, or rather soap opera.