By Jason La Canfora and Leonard Shapiro
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 2, 2006
DETROIT, Feb. 1 -- Washington Redskins vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato denied Internet and broadcast reports Wednesday linking the team to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens.
"Our head coach [Joe Gibbs] said it before," Cerrato said. "We think he's an outstanding player, but he just doesn't fit us."
Earlier in the day, SI.com, the Web site of Sports Illustrated, published a column by Peter King titled "Five Things I Think I Think" in which he predicted that the Redskins would "be a major player in the Terrell Owens sweepstakes before it's all done."
King's remarks were picked up by several other Internet and broadcast outlets.
Owens, who is expected to be traded or released, was suspended in November by the Eagles for conduct detrimental to the team, then deactivated for the remainder of the season. The Redskins are in the market for another wide receiver. But numerous team sources asked about Owens during the season and again Wednesday said he has never been the subject of personnel meetings and that no one has discussed signing him. Universally, they have said he is not the kind of player Gibbs is building the Redskins with, and would not fit with the club.
Denver and Kansas City are among teams interested in Owens, who is seeking a new contract. The Redskins also face the task of trimming about $20 million in salary cap space, which would make landing Owens more difficult. The Eagles may refuse to release him, and demand at least a draft pick in return. And dealing a talented player to a division rival would run counter to conventional football wisdom, as well.