The Philadelphia Eagles have made it clear they don’t want wide receiver Terrell Owens anymore. Owens apologized to the organization Tuesday in a press conference outside his home, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus implored the Eagles to reinstate Owens, infamous for publicly blasting his team, the Associated Press reported.
“The mentality that I have, my greatest strength can also be my greatest weakness,” Owens said. “I’m a fighter. I’ve always been and I’ll always be. I fight for what I think is right. In doing so, I alienated a lot of my fans and my teammates.”
“This is very painful for me to be in this position,” he said. “I know in my heart that I can help the team win the Super Bowl and not only be a dominant player, but also be a team player. I can bring that.”
The Eagles announced Saturday that Owens would not play Sunday night against the Washington Redskins, a game the Eagles lost 17-10. In a post-game press conference, quarterback Donovan McNabb said he believed the team would be better without Owens, who has 47 catches for 763 yards and six touchdowns this season. Coach Andy Reid said that the suspension would last three more games and that Owens would not be deactivated for the rest of the season because of “a large number of situations that accumulated over a long period of time.”
Owens criticized the team’s front office and quarterback Donovan McNabb in a televised interview Thursday, one day after he got into a locker room scuffle with former Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas, the Washington Post reported.
Owens said the Eagles showed “a lack of class” for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch in a game on Oct. 23 in an interview with ESPN.com. He also said the Eagles would be better off with Green Bay’s Brett Favre at quarterback instead of McNabb.
Owens is not being paid during his suspension, and he stands to lose about $800,000 of his $3.25 million salary. The Eagles must pay Owens for the five games he will miss due to his deactivation, and they will try to recoup $1.7 million of his $2.3 million signing bonus. The Eagles are expected to release him in the offseason unless they’re able to trade him.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday that the players’ union has filed a grievance on behalf of Owens seeking to overturn the suspension. It will be heard Nov. 18 before arbitrator Richard Bloch.
Owens’ relationship with the Eagles turned sour after he fired agent David Joseph, and hired Rosenhaus to demand a new contract one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed when he came to Philadelphia in March 2004.