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NFLPA Was Against Owens Signing Deal

Saturday, April 16, 2005; Page D02

The NFL Players Association advised wide receiver Terrell Owens last year not to sign the seven-year, nearly $49 million contract with the Philadelphia Eagles that he wants to renegotiate after one season with the team.

A union source said yesterday the deal contains contract language that's unfavorable to Owens. The source declined to elaborate but said Owens told union officials at the time he was ignoring their recommendation because he trusted Eagles Coach Andy Reid.

Receiver Terrell Owens signed a 7-year deal with the Eagles last year against the NFLPA's advice. (Chris O'meara -- AP)

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Owens recently fired the agent who negotiated his contract with the Eagles, David Joseph, and hired Drew Rosenhaus. Owens and Rosenhaus have said publicly that they want the Eagles to negotiate a new contract with them. Eagles officials do not seem interested in reworking the deal, which is to pay Owens a salary of $3.25 million next season. It contains $16 million in bonus money, but $7.5 million of that total is not due until 2006.

Last offseason, just as Owens appeared on the verge of being declared a free agent by NFL special master Stephen Burbank after Joseph failed to file the necessary paperwork on time, Owens agreed to a settlement that placed him with the Eagles.

Union chief Gene Upshaw said at the time that before Owens agreed to the settlement, he asked Owens if the wideout indeed wanted to bypass free agency to go to the Eagles, and Owens said yes. Rosenhaus and Owens now say that Owens had no leverage in negotiations with the Eagles and was forced to accept a below-market-value deal.

-- Mark Maske

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