Former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin and current NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens sat down for a conversation on NFL Network this morning, and they both agreed that NFL wide receivers don’t get enough credit, while quarterbacks get too much credit.
Owens brought up his old quarterback in San Francisco, Jeff Garcia, saying that the 49ers were willing to give Garcia a new contract but weren’t willing to pay Owens what he wanted.
“They re-did his contract immediately,” Owens said. “And yet they dragged my contract out throughout the whole summer.”
Irvin then chimed in, “Jeff Garcia got his money but won’t go and say, ‘I need this guy that really helped me get my money.’ Because you sent him to the Pro Bowl.”
Owens and Irvin brought up Owens’ previous unhappiness with the Eagles and quarterback Donovan McNabb, and Irvin tied it into what he perceives as Tom Brady not standing up for Randy Moss.
“Now Randy Moss leaves,” Irvin said. “And I haven’t heard anything where Tom Brady stepped up and said anything. Why does that happen?”
“I don’t want to go down that road,” Owens answered. “I’m just going to leave it as it is. I just feel like it’s ridiculous, and that’s why sometimes I have taken the stance that I have taken. When I was in Philly I refused to be overworked and underpaid.”
As he has previously, Owens brought up Brady in discussing the Moss trade.
“Why does Tom get a new contract and Randy doesn’t?” Owens asked. “That baffles me to death.”
Asked Irvin, “Why is it that receivers are so unappreciated in this league?”
Owens suggested that if he gave his true feelings about that, he wouldn’t be welcome in the NFL in 2011.
“I don’t want to go down that road,” Owens said. “I don’t want to give you nothing. I want to try to get on a team next year.”
And Owens said that the NFL’s undervaluing of receivers has hurt him financially.
“The contract I have right now, it’s basically like I’m playing for free,” Owens said.
Irvin asked Owens, “How much of that is on you?” and Owens looked incredulous.
“On me? On me?” Owens said. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m perfect, but I’m not going to shoulder all the blame, either.”
In the NFL Network studio after the interview, Irvin made clear that he buys what Owens is selling.
“Certainly, that has merit, what T.O. is saying,” Irvin said afterward. “Absolutely. We give quarterbacks all the love in the world — and they deserve all the love in the world — but you can only be a great quarterback if someone is on the other end.”