Sunday, March 7, 2004

Traded to Ravens, Owens seeks to become an Eagle

Wide receiver says Philly top choice

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Even though he was traded to Baltimore, Terrell Owens still hopes to catch passes from Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia next season.

One day after the San Francisco 49ers sent the four-time Pro Bowl receiver to the Ravens, Owens said he's not happy with the deal and plans to file a grievance.

"This is about me getting a fair shot at a team that I want to go to. Baltimore is definitely one of my choices, but Philly was my 'A' choice, my priority on my list," Owens said in an interview on ESPN late Friday night.

Desperate for a No. 1 receiver, the Eagles reportedly agreed to a contract with Owens that included a signing bonus believed to be worth about $10 million. But the volatile receiver was traded to the Ravens for a second-round pick Thursday before Philadelphia could work out a trade with the 49ers.

Chad Steele, a spokesman for the Ravens, said Saturday: "We have a valid contract with Terrell and we expect him to play for the Ravens."

Owens failed to become a free agent this week when he missed a deadline last month to void the final three seasons of his contract. His agent, David Joseph, already filed a grievance with the NFL Management Council through the players' union in an effort to resolve that matter.

"We're not idiots," Owens said. "This is something we've been waiting on. The 49ers have known that I was more than possibly going to void my contract. There's been a lot of backstabbing going on the last couple of years."

BROWNS: Tim Couch thought so little of the Browns' proposal to cut his salary by more than half that he didn't respond to it.

The Browns are expected to respond with a second proposal to their quarterback.

The team's original offer would have cut Couch's salary from $7.6 million to $3 million in 2004 and from $8 million to $3.5 million in 2005. The package also reportedly included $3 million in bonuses and incentives tied to the team's record.

The Browns are asking the former No. 1 overall draft pick to rework his deal so they'll have more money to spend in free agency.

FALCONS: After agreeing to pay defensive tackle Rod Coleman a $10 million signing bonus Saturday, the Atlanta Falcons arranged a meeting with quarterback Jeff Garcia.

Garcia, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, appears to be an awkward, pricey choice to serve as Michael Vick's backup.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh signed linebacker Clark Haggans Saturday, a move that probably means former All-Pro outside linebacker Jason Gildon won't return.

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