With all these T.O. stories, I feel like I should change the ring tone on my Sprint phone to the SportsCenter theme.
But our editorial decisions always have been guided by one simple principle — write about the stuff in which we’d be interested if we weren’t the ones writing it. And, yeah, we’re interested in seeing how this train wreck is going to play out.
We’ve learned that, as widely expected, it won’t end with a stop in Baltimore.
Per a league source, the Ravens aren’t interested in Owens.
Apart from the fact that Ravens coach John Harbaugh had a front-row seat for the T.O. drama in Philly, the bigger impediment likely would arise from Owens’ accusation that Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome made a racist comment about him when Ravens were attempting to swing a trade for Owens five years ago.
According to Owens, Newsome told T.O.’s agent at the time, David Joseph, that Newsome “was a black man from Alabama just like T.O.” and that “sometimes a black man’s gotta be slapped.”
Wrote Owens at the time, in an autobiography, “Initially, I was kind of stunned by it. My agent was kind of reluctant to tell me about it at the time. What a lot of people don’t know, and I guess I’ll let it out now, is that was pretty much one of the main reasons I didn’t want to go there.”
Newsome bristled in reaction to the claim.
“Please, why should I respond to that?” Newsome said. “I did tell T.O. that he should check with the veterans we brought in over the years. I told him to call Rod Woodson, Shannon Sharpe, Michael McCrary, and Sam Adams, and they will let him know how we treat veterans here.”
So, yeah, it would likely be difficult for Newsome to forget about that one, and pay Owens millions of dollars to potentially destroy the team from the inside out.
With all these T.O. stories, I feel like I should change the ring tone on my Sprint phone to the SportsCenter theme.
Said LB Cato June after visiting the Bills, “I think I could fit in well with the players that they have here. They’re on the brink of being a championship team, so to me that’s a great asset and a great way to continue my career.”
The Dolphins brought CB Eric Green, a former starter with the Cardinals, in for a visit.
Free agent QB Patrick Ramsey could be backing up QB Tom Brady after visiting the Patriots Wednesday.
Bob Glauber of Newsday cautions the Jets to stay away from WR Terrell Owens.
Said Ravens LB Ray Lewis, “From beginning to end as a Raven … Wow! My heart is with the Ravens. My heart is with Baltimore and the great fans.”
Bengals QB Carson Palmer is happy about the signing of WR Laveranues Coles and the re-signing of RB Cedric Benson.
The agent for free agent LB Paris Lenon said the Browns are “definitely on his radar scope.”
The Steelers haven’t confirmed it, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports WR Martin Nance, on the practice squad in 2008, has been added to the offseason roster.
Free agent LB Kevin Burnett, a four-year Cowboys veteran, will visit with the Texans on Thursday.
The Colts re-signed exclusive rights free agent DT Daniel Muir.
Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com thinks the Jaguars could use WR Terrell Owens, but that there’s no chance he’ll wind up in Jacksonville.
QB Vince Young’s agent Major Adams said that Young is working out harder than ever to try to win back the Titans’ starting quarterback job.
Broncos DL Kenny Peterson, who re-signed with the team Wednesday, was a high school teammate of coach Josh McDaniels.
S Keith Davis, who started nine games for the Cowboys in 2008, is expected to visit with the Chiefs today.
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee will have his popcorn ready if WR Terrell Owens signs with the Raiders.
Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson wants to supplant Emmitt Smith as the NFL’s career rushing leader.
Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News writes that it doesn’t matter if Marion Barber or Felix Jones is the Cowboys starting running back, so long as Barber finishes games.
The Giants worked out TE Lee Vickers and TE Ben Troupe on Wednesday and signed Vickers, who was out of football in 2008.
Eagles T Stacy Andrews went to Ole Miss on a track and field scholarship, he threw the discus and hammer, and joined the football coach at the behest of then-coach David Cutcliffe.
On Wednesday, T Ray Willis, who started 10 games for the Seahawks in 2008, became the first free agent to visit the Redskins.
Former Bears S Shaun Gayle leaned on his teammates for support during the search for his girlfriend’s murderer.
The Lions won’t issue missing DE Corey Smith’s No. 93 to any player this season.
It’s unlikely that the Packers will pursue a trade for Panthers DE Julius Peppers.
C John Sullivan, a 2008 sixth-round pick, and RG Anthony Herrera are two options to replace C Matt Birk with the Vikings.
Two free agents, TE L.J. Smith and C Brett Romberg, will visit the Falcons on Thursday.
While the Panthers signed defensive tackles Maake Kemoeatu and Damione Lewis to restructured deals that run through 2014, it’s unlikely either man will get a $9.3 million bonus due in 2010.
The Superdome will be more colorful for Saints games this season.
Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik says that kickers Matt Bryant and Mike Nugent will compete for the job this summer.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic thinks the Cardinals should give S Adrian Wilson a contract extension.
Rams CB Ron Bartell said coach Steve Spagnuolo’s success with the Giants played a big role in his decision to re-sign with the team.
Ann Killion of the Mercury News thinks the 49ers’ flirtation with QB Kurt Warner shows that they don’t have a long-term plan.
Seahawks FB Leonard Weaver hasn’t received much interest around the league which may portend a return to Seattle.
We’re confining our official T.O. list to teams who have indicated, via an on-the-record statement or credible report via unnamed sources (that leaves us out), that they wouldn’t touch Terrell Owens with a ten-foot bag of popcorn.
But we don’t really need an official report to cross the Dolphins off the list. V.P. of football operations Bill Parcells didn’t want the guy in Dallas, and their one-year collaboration only confirmed Parcells’ feelings.
Still, Armando Salguero (the real one, not the impostor) makes the case in far more compelling fashion than we ever could.
Here it is.
[Editor’s note: We had to recreate this entry as a result of the technical difficulties that ultimately resulted in the expungement of several days of content.]
A Hall of Famer for his ability, former Steelers center Mike Webster became the most recognizable name and face of the plight of linemen suffering repeated blows to the head while battling in the trenches.
The results were tragic for Webster, marring his post-football existence and bringing his life to an untimely end at the age of 50.
And it was after his passing that Webster perhaps has had his greatest impact. Through a landmark effort to win disability benefits from the league, Webster’s experiences have helped focus attention on this problem.
So for his performances and, more importantly, his sacrifices, our annual award given to the top offensive lineman in the NFL is named for Mike Webster.
The first recipients were Steve Hutchinson and Matt Birk of the Minnesota Vikings.
They’re the second recipients, too.
Birk, whose time in the NFL is winding down, deserves the recognition for a career of solid performances, a significant amount of charity work, stellar on-field and off-field leadership, and (perhaps more importantly) being a friend of PFT.
Hutchinson’s selection arises more for his impact – which can be seen both in the performance of the Minnnesota rushing game since he arrived from Seattle and the disappearance of the Seahawks’ running attack since he left. Also, Hutchinson is a card-carrying member of PFT Planet, so he got some brownie points for that, too.
It’s unlikely that they’ll win the thing a third year in a row, given that Birk is now gone for Baltimore. But even if they aren’t side-by-side during the season, we reserve the right to put them side-by-side at the end of the season as the top offensive linemen in the game.
You speak, we listen.
When we feel like it.
In this specific case, we decided that we’d accept the advice of a reader and create the first official spinoff of the Anti-Vick List.
It’s the Anti-T.O. List. And it’s right here.
So keep us posted as to the addition of new teams to the list.
As we’re doing with Mike Vick, we’ll be keeping a running tally of all of the teams that have said “thanks” followed immediately by “no thanks” to the possibility of signing receiver Terrell Owens.
Please note that this only reflects teams that already have said that they’re not interested:
The Dallas Cowboys. (Duh.)
The New York Giants.
The Washington Redskins.
The Baltimore Ravens.
The San Francisco 49ers.
The Minnesota Vikings.
The Atlanta Falcons.
The Cleveland Browns.
The San Diego Chargers.
The Philadelphia Eagles.
The New York Jets.
The Tennessee Titans.
The St. Louis Rams.
The New Orleans Saints.
The Houston Texans.
The Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Miami Dolphins.
The Oakland Raiders.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Chicago Bears.
On the same day that kicker Mike Nugent, on whom the Jets
squandered used a second-round draft pick in 2005, signed a one-year deal with the Bucs, his injury replacement for most of the 2008 season agreed to return for a second season.
Jay Feely, who was dumped unexpectedly last year by the Dolphins, inked a one-year contract with the Jets, according to Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post.
Last year, Feely converted 24 of 28 field goals, and he made all 31 extra-point attempts.
The strong feelings for Feely in New York are a bit unusual, given that G.M. Mike Tannenbaum is a Bill Parcells protege. It’s widely believed that Parcells, the Dolphins V.P. of football operations, cut Feely because the veteran leg-swinger doesn’t fit the “be seen and not heard . . . which means shut your f–king mouth” philosophy that Parcells applies to kickers.
And pretty much everyone else.
Well, on the bright side we’ve given Easterbook some fodder for 2010.
Our initial knee-jerk reaction to the news that Terrell Owens had involuntarily gained his freedom from the Cowboys was that Owens would most likely land with the Redskins or the Giants.
And, already, both teams have reportedly said no.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the Redskins have issued an adamant “no thanks” regarding the possibility of signing Owens.
(We’ve separately heard that agent Drew Rosenhaus had already placed a call to the team about T.O.)
Mort raises a good point about the Redskins’ position — they weren’t interested three years ago, when Owens was three years younger.
That said, we thought that it would be different this time. Joe Gibbs is gone, and Jim Zorn is running an offense to which Owens is perfectly suited. And, by signing defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, the Redskins seem to be attempting to put the piece in place to buy a title in 2009.
Maybe they are, but they’re going to do so without signing Terrell Owens.
Well, the verdict already is in.
Non-fat frozen yogurt actually contains fat . . . the the New York Giants aren’t interested in sudden free-agent receiver Terrell Owens.
Bob Glauber of Newsday reports that the Giants have “zero” interest in Owens.
Frankly, we’re susprised. The Giants have thrived with big personalities in the recent past, and they need a guy who can replace Plaxico Burress.
The Redskins are on the clock.
UPDATE: Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger reports the same thing: “They don’t want anything to do with [Owens]. Not today. Not tomorrow. And from the sound of it, not even if Plaxico Burress goes to jail.”
The decision to cut receiver Terrell Owens means that the Dallas Cowboys will carry $9.675 million on the books in 2009 for a player (“the player”) who isn’t on the team.
We addressed a couple of weeks ago the potential cap consequences of cutting Owens. Here’s a quick summary.
Having Owens on the team would have cost $8.995 million in 2009 cap space, barring a conversion of his $3.1 million roster bonus into a guaranteed payment, which would have reduced that specific portion of the cap charge.
So, technically, cutting him requires the Cowboys to consume only $680,000 in additional cap space.
But the move saves $5.67 million in the cash that would have been paid to Owens this year, and it clears him off the books in the unlikely event that the salary cap remains in place for 2010.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is widely believed to prefer an NFL without a salary cap. In this one situation, however, having a cap for another year would help his franchise.
With the pad of pink slips already out of the desk drawer for receiver Terrell Owens, NBC Dallas-Ft. Worth reports that the Dallas Cowboys used a second sheet on safety Roy Williams. (Not receiver Roy Williams, Sid. Safety Roy Williams.)
The move comes two days after Williams gave the team a “trade me or cut me” ultimatum, and presumably after the team exhausted all potential trade opportunities.
As of last week, the Cowboys were actively shopping the seven-year veteran, but could find no takers.
Williams had been griping for nearly a year about his perception that he’s not a good fit in the specific 3-4 system used by coach Wade Phillips.
Per Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, the move saves $2 million in 2009 cap space.
Look for the Dolphins and former Dallas head coach Bill Parcells to possibly make a play for Williams.
So with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pulling a stunning reversal, cutting receiver Terrell Owens after strongly suggesting that Owens would be back with the team in 2009, the question arises as to the potential impact of the move on the rest of the team.
From a pure football standpoint, the team got instantly worse.
From a chemistry standpoint, many will assume that the team got instantly better.
Given that it’s been made pretty clear that the Cowboys (like the Eagles before them) contain a pro-T.O. and an anti-T.O. faction, the Cowboys players who like and support Owens will be upset not only because Owens has been cut, but also because of the manner in which the situation was handled.
Regardless of the motivation for saying one thing and doing another, Jones has made it harder to get his players on the same page by creating the clear impression that the things the organization says cannot be believed.
Six months ago, things were looking very good for quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan. The guy with the name that sounds like a chain of crappy casual dining restaurants had been named the opening-day starter in San Francisco, as he was entering the final year of his contract.
With a solid season, O’Sullivan would have been able to buy his own chain of crappy casual dining restaurants, either with a big-money long-term deal or the $14.65 million franchise tag.
But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. O’Sullivan struggled, and eventually found himself back in his more familiar location on Sundays — the bench.
And so he became a free agent, but not many teams came calling (especially with Mike Martz out of the NFL).
However, O’Sullivan apparently has found a new home.
According to Adam Schefter of NFL Network, O’Sullivan is expected to sign a contract with the Bengals, where he will be the backup to Carson Palmer.
O’Sullivan replaces Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bills to back up Trent Edwards.
And that ensures that J.P. Losman won’t be back in Buffalo.
Maybe J.P. can get a job with a chain of crappy casual dining restaurants. I hear J.T. O’Sullivan’s is hiring.
As the New England Patriots attempt to shore up a once deep receiving depth chart that has been diluted of late by the departure of Donte’ Stallworth via free agency in 2008 and the departure of Jabar Gaffney via free agency in 2009, they’re looking to a guy who falls into the age bracket of the team’s typical linebacker acquisitions.
Joey Galloway, 37, visited the Pats on Wednesday, according to Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe.
The move makes us wonder if/when the Patriots will take a peek at a wideout who is slightly younger, and whose career accomplishments are significantly greater — Marvin Harrison.
Galloway was cut last week by the Buccaneers as part of that stunning purge of veteran players.
The folks in D.C. already are buzzing about the possibility of plucking a receiver best known for his initials, and a wicked middle name (it’s Eldorado).
So we’ve been invited to help stir the pot regarding the potential arrival of T.O. with our good friends the Junkies of WJFK.
For those of you not in the radio listening area, you can bring the listening area to your cubicle by clicking right here.
We’ll have plenty to say throughout the day about the stunning decision by the Cowboys to dump receiver Terrell Owens.
Here’s the first thing that comes to mind — his next destination.
And we’ve got a feeling that he’ll continue his tour of the NFC East.
It’s the Redskins and the Giants, we predict, who could be vying for his services.
Let’s start with the Giants.
The Giants learned the hard way late last year that having a receiver who can draw double coverage is far more important than having two running backs who can gain 1,000 yards each.
Sure, they were burned by Plaxico Burress, and on the surface they might not be interested in signing a guy like Owens, who has been a problem in the past — and that’s an understatement.
But, frankly, the Giants didn’t bat an eye about signing defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, despite the fact that he flies the only red flag T.O. doesn’t: a criminal record.
And New York admittedly chased defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who likes his cars fast and his cleats sharp.
So, given the potential benefits that T.O. can provide on the field, it would be very easy for the Giants to justify giving him a chance, especially if he agrees to a contract that protects the team against any bad behavior.
The Redskins would be interested even if they weren’t in a position to twist the tails of their Texas rivals. It’s Terrell Owens, for crying out loud. A big-name player, available to be signed by a team that collects them like football cards.
For the same reasons that the ‘Skins were willing to give up a package that could have been worth two first-round picks last year for erratic and emotional Bengals receiver Chad Johnson, owner Daniel Snyder will pounce on the chance to upgrade a so-so receiving corps with a guy who knows the West Coast Offense as well as any receiver.
We give the Redskins a little more of an edge on this one, because: (1) they’ll be willing to pay more money; and (2) the Giants ultimately could decide to back off not based on attitude but on age. Owens is a temporary fix; the Giants are likely hoping for something that adds value for more than a year or two.
That said, there are some wild cards in this equation. The Raiders have long been regarded as a team that could take a chance on Owens. The Ravens tried to get him several years ago, and linebacker Ray Lewis recently gushed about the guy. The Jets let one of their starting receivers become a free agent last week, and the guy just signed with a new team on Thursday. The Vikings run the West Coast Offense that Owens knows so well, recently swung and missed on T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and could easily sell to the fans a flirtation with Owens by pointing to the fact that, unlike the Love Boat crew or even defensive end Jared Allen, Owens has never gotten in trouble with the law.
Regardless of who it is, the guy still has some football left in him. And he’d surely love nothing better than to continue his career in the NFC East, where he’d face the Eagles twice and the Cowboys twice.
UPDATE: Thanks to the reader who reminded us that Owens and Vikings coach Brad Childress clashed in Philly. So take the Vikes off the list.
The Dallas Cowboys cut star wide receiver Terrell Owens tonight, according to Michael Smith of ESPN.com.
ESPN has posted a breaking news item on the front page of its Web site.
The report cites two sources, per the Cowboys blog on the Dallas Morning News.
In late February, Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones issued this comment when asked about Owens’ possible release: “That [Cowboys vice president and Jones’ son] Stephen [Jones] and I were debating about Terrell, that’s just misinformation. That’s just not accurate. I don’t know where that comes from. That’s just total misinformation.”
The Cowboys’ official Web site still lists Owens on the roster, but has posted a blog referencing the ESPN report. Per the blog, the Cowboys have not confirmed that Owens is off the team.
The headline on DallasCowboys.com states: “Looks Like T.O. Gone,” with a subheading that says, “Reports Claim Owens Released; Cowboys Mum.”
As of 1:00 a.m. EST, no Cowboys official would confirm the report to the official Web site or issue a comment.
According to NFL.com, Owens had 69 receptions for 1,052 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
UPDATE: Citing sources, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has confirmed ESPN’s report that the Cowboys have released Owens.
Per the Star-Telegram, Owens, 35, was paid a $12 million signing bonus last year. It was a portion of his four-year, $34 million contract.
Updating the newspaper’s initial report, Clarence Hill and Mac Engel of the Star-Telegram wrote that “petulant and controversial receiver Terrell Owens is no longer a member of the Dallas Cowboys.”
The article references Owens’ run-ins last season with quarterback Tony Romo, tight end Jason Witten, and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Sources told the newspaper: “[T]he decision to drop Owens had everything to do with his age, and the fact he is no longer regarded as a legit No. 1 receiver.”
Jones reportedly had spent weeks seeking input throughout the organization about Owens before reaching a conclusion that “Owens had become a distraction” and needed to be released prior to the launch of the offseason conditioning program scheduled to start in a few weeks.
On June 1, Owens was due a $3.1 million roster bonus.
UPDATE II: Now, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News has confirmed that Owens has been cut, citing a source.
Watkins reports that team officials told Owens tonight that they “had decided to go in a different direction,” adding that “multiple sources” said that Owens’ potential exit had been under discussion for several days.
Apparently, the final decision to take this action wasn’t made until Wednesday night.
Watkins reports that agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Owens, and Owens didn’t return telephone calls.
Writing on the Morning News’ Cowboys blog, Tim MacMahon points out that Jery Jones issued a telling quote to Dallas television reporter Steve Dennis in a recent interview where Jones discussed wide receiver Roy Williams’ role for next season.
“We all understand and maybe, maybe need to think through, is there enough balls?” Jones said. “Can there be enough balls to go around here? I think that’s very, very important here. And we want Roy Williams to have a lot of balls.”
UPDATE III: Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com has also confirmed the reports, citing Cowboys sources, and writes that the transaction “seems to fit with the Cowboys’ plan to have a more harmonious locker room for 2009.”
Glazer pointed out that Owens told the Dallas Morning News in May last year that he wanted to conclude his career with the Cowboys.
UPDATE IV: Per the Associated Press, a spokesman for the wide receiver said that Owens “hadn’t heard the news,” adding that Owens was traveling and couldn’t be reached for comment.