Tuesday, April 20, 2010
MCNABB WANTS T.O. BACK IN HIS HUDDLE
Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly, Donovan? Did you say you want your new team, the Redskins, to sign free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens? You must be out of your mind!
Sources broke news today stating that Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb has been encouraging the team to make an attempt at signing free agent Terrell Owens. While Redskins ownership has made it public that it is a top priority this offseason to upgrade their wide receiver position, head coach Mike Shanahan said today that the team would prefer not to bring Owens into the locker room if another solution can be found. Owens spent all of last season with the Buffalo Bills and became a free agent after the team decided not to renew his contract.
A source close to McNabb said that, while shooting an episode of “Pros vs. Joes” in Los Angeles, the quarterback and Owens talked about the possibility of reuniting.
Owens has a history of toxicity in his relationships with his past quarterbacks, McNabb especially. Owens wrote of such problems in his 2006 autobiography, “TO.”
In 2004, the Eagles were flying high with a 10-1 record when Owens antics started to, once again, flare up. Owens became increasingly unhappy because he claimed McNabb did not throw him the ball enough. Then in November of that same year, during a game at Giants Stadium, Owens finally spoke up in the huddle after a play designed to go to him resulted in a short, incomplete pass to a running back—according to Owens’ book.
Owens wrote that he said, “I was open, dude. You missed me.”
McNabb’s reply, according to Owens, was, “Shut the [explicative] up!”
Owens later wrote that he was deeply offended by what McNabb said to him. He also went on to write, “Maybe he didn’t want a co-host and maybe he didn’t like me getting more attention.”
From that point on in 2004, the pair hardly spoke another word to each other.
In spring 2005, Owens refused to go to camp, demanding that the Eagles renegotiate his seven year contract. He also lashed out at McNabb because he believed the quarterback and leader of the team should have come to his aid in his demands for more money. He later told one reporter, “I wasn’t the guy that got tired in the Super Bowl.”
Following a tumultuous summer, the 2005 season saw a divided Eagles locker room that climaxed into a fight between Owens and retired defensive-end Hugh Douglas, whom head coach Andy Reid had just given the title of “team ambassador” to.
After the fight, on November 7th, Reid sent Owens a letter outlining six charges against the receiver and sent Owens home for the remainder of the season. Owens filed a grievance with the players’ union and a hearing was scheduled.
That marked the end of Owens time as a Philadelphia Eagle, and his stay as primary target for Donovan McNabb.
After recalling all of Owens antics and outbursts, it sounds a bit absurd for McNabb to want T.O. back in the same huddle as him—and it is. The Washington Redskins, or any team for that matter, would have to be out of their minds to want to allow a nuisance such as Terrell Owens on their team. He is an out of control team wrecker, and a bad locker room personality. The last thing McNabb needs on his new team, and the last person Mike Shanahan wants on his sideline, is a complaining, loudmouthed Terrell Owens stirring things up.
The Redskins have an NFL-low four picks in this week’s draft, so expect the team to find an alternative way to upgrade their receiver position. You should not expect, however, that any upgrade will involve Terrell Owens.
While this may all be here say, it would be in the Redskins best interest to stay away from the aging receiver. Owens production numbers have been on the decrease for the past five seasons.
-Christopher M. Barfield