Friday, March 6, 2009 Rosenhaus intends to get T.O. signed
ESPN.com news services
Now that the Dallas Cowboys have said their goodbyes to Terrell Owens, the mercurial wide receiver is ready for his next challenge.
Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, indicated in a text message Friday that his client won't be out of work for too long. Negotiations have begun with several teams, Rosenhaus said, and he hopes to have a deal in place by late next week. Owens was released by Dallas on Thursday.
"There are several teams that are interested in signing Terrell," Rosenhaus said. "I have been in negotiations with these teams. I will not identify the teams at this time. Terrell and I expect to have a deal in place by the end of next week if not sooner."
This possibly could mean a return for Owens to the Bay Area, where the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders are considered "maybes" as potential T.O. employers.
When the topic of Owens came up during his interview on KNBR in San Francisco, 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan simply said, "We don't close any doors."
Raiders owner Al Davis, known for his affinity for playmakers -- receivers Randy Moss and current Raider Javon Walker were brought into the fold this decade -- also could be a player in any Owens discussions.
Owens, who started his career with the 49ers and later played for the Philadelphia Eagles, spent three highly dramatic seasons in Dallas.
"In the aftermath of the season, we talked about change," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "Some of what is changing involves the process and some of it involves people. This is a decision that was made based upon consideration for an entire team.
"We will move on now with a new team -- a new attitude -- and into a new stadium. The evaluation process and the prospect for change will continue at every level of the organization."
So Owens won't get a chance to thrill crowds in the Cowboys' new home this year. Nor will he get a chance to turn off his old teammates with his histrionics. He released a statement Thursday on his Web site thanking Jones, coach Wade Phillips and the organization "for the opportunity to be a member of the team for the past three years."
"A big thanks to the fans -- you've been awesome! I look forward to the upcoming season and continuing to play in the NFL," Owens added.
Cowboys receiver Sam Hurd said Owens sent him a text message late Wednesday, saying he had been cut.
"He didn't give me an explanation. He just said, 'Wow,' " Hurd said Thursday. "I really didn't believe that he seen that coming." Hurd said Owens' reaction was "more shock than anger."
"He said it's tough, but it's a business," Hurd said.
Jones and his son Stephen told Owens and Rosenhaus in person Wednesday in Florida that the receiver was being released, sources told ESPN's Ed Werder.
"Well, this was certainly a tough decision," Jones told the NFL Network at a league meeting in Fort Lauderdale, "and I have all the feelings that I should have as far as Terrell as the great player he is and the impact he has made. I do appreciate what he has been for our team. But we certainly felt that this decision is the way we ought to go."
The Cowboys paid Owens a $12 million signing bonus just last year, which was included as part of a new four-year, $34 million deal. Dallas will take a roughly $9 million salary-cap hit by releasing him.
There has been talk since the end of the Cowboys' 9-7 season, in which they missed the playoffs, that they would consider cutting Owens to improve locker-room morale.
In late February, Jerry Jones did not deny the team was discussing the possible release of Owens. The receiver's future was brought up again in meetings at Valley Ranch on Wednesday, but Jones had not made a final decision by the time most people had left the building, a source told ESPN.com's Matt Mosley.
Not only did Owens have relationship issues with quarterback Tony Romo and tight end Jason Witten, but he consistently criticized offensive coordinator Jason Garrett's play calling and his offensive schemes to the point that sources have said Garrett did not believe he and Owens could coexist.
Although the Cowboys were trying to downplay a possible rift between Owens and Witten during the season, the two reportedly came close to blows in mid-December.
The Cowboys signed Owens in March 2006, despite the bitterness some fans felt toward him after he celebrated on the team's midfield star logo while playing for the 49ers. At his introductory news conference, Owens declared, "Getcha popcorn ready," and he certainly kept things interesting.
His first season included an accidental overdose that police initially called a possible suicide attempt and an obviously strained relationship with then-coach Bill Parcells. Yet it also included the most TD catches in the NFL and the birth of Romo's stardom.
The Cowboys went 31-17 in Owens' three seasons, but 0-2 in the playoffs. He caught 235 passes for 3,587 yards and 38 touchdowns in 47 games. He led the NFL with 13 touchdowns receiving in 2006, his first season in Dallas.
In his 13-year career, Owens is a five-time All-Pro and ranks second in career touchdowns, fifth in career yards receiving and sixth in career receptions. He turned 35 in December, but remains a physical specimen.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Agent Drew Rosenhaus working on getting Terrell Owens new team - ESPN