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Owens suspended indefinitely by Eagles


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Owens suspended indefinitely by Eagles

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer

Sat Nov 5, 5:22 PM 12 HOURS 51 MINUTES AGO

PHILADELPHIA - Terrell Owens can host an open house, exercise on his front lawn or practice a new touchdown celebration Sunday.

He won't be playing for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Owens was suspended indefinitely by the Eagles on Saturday, two days after he criticized the organization for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch two weeks ago.

The All-Pro wide receiver apologized Friday in a statement and later on his weekly radio show, but the damage already was done.

The Eagles issued a statement that said Owens was suspended ``for conduct detrimental to the team.'' The team added that it will have no further comment.

Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, refused to comment.

It's unlikely Owens will be paid for sitting out this game, though neither the team nor Rosenhaus would discuss the situation. Owens is scheduled to make $3.5 million in base salary this season, so the suspension would cost him more than $200,000 per game if it's without pay.

The collective bargaining agreement states that a player can be suspended for up to four games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team. However, the Eagles could decide to pay Owens to stay home the rest of the season.

In 2003, Tampa Bay declared wideout Keyshawn Johnson inactive for the final six games and sent him home because of differences with coach Jon Gruden. Johnson was paid his full salary.

No matter, it's clear Owens won't be back in Philadelphia next year. He already put his house in Moorestown, N.J., up for sale. The price? A measly $4.4 million.

Owens has been angry with the Eagles since management refused to redo his contract just one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed when he came to Philadelphia in March 2004.

Without Owens, the struggling Eagles (4-3) will line up with unproven rookie Reggie Brown at one of the wideout spots for an important game at Washington (4-3) on Sunday night.

This is the second time Owens has been suspended during his controversial 10-year career. In 2000, he was suspended one game by San Francisco coach Steve Mariucci following his infamous touchdown celebrations on the Dallas Cowboys' famed star logo at the center of Texas Stadium.

Owens clashed with management this summer and earned a one-week exile from training camp after a heated dispute with coach Andy Reid, which led to a bizarre workout on his lawn in front of neighbors and reporters.

Owens got in trouble this time after taking shots at the team and quarterback Donovan McNabb in an interview with ESPN.com on Thursday.

Owens was upset there was no in-stadium acknowledgment of his 100th career TD reception in a victory over San Diego on Oct. 23. An announcement was made in the press box.

``That right there just shows you the type of class and integrity that they claim not to be,'' said Owens, who became the sixth receiver in NFL history to reach the milestone. ``They claim to be first class and the best organization. It's an embarrassment. It just shows a lack of class they have. My publicist talked to the head PR guy, and they made an excuse they didn't recognize that was coming up. But that was a blatant lie. Had it been somebody else, they probably would have popped fireworks around the stadium.''

Owens also said the Eagles would be undefeated with Green Bay's Brett Favre at quarterback.

``A number of commentators will say he's a warrior, he's played with injuries,'' Owens said, referring to Favre. ``I feel like him being knowledgeable about the quarterback position, I feel like we'd probably be in a better situation.''

Owens said on his radio show he merely was agreeing with the opinion of Michael Irvin, the former Dallas wideout and current ESPN broadcaster.

``This is one I really regret,'' Owens said of the interview, adding that some clips were taken out of context. ``I said earlier in the interview that we would have a better record if Donovan wasn't injured.''

Owens previously said on his radio show that he'd prefer to play with Indianapolis' Peyton Manning over McNabb or any quarterback. Last year, Owens couldn't stop praising McNabb after joining the Eagles following eight seasons in San Francisco.

But their relationship soured after Owens took a verbal swipe at McNabb's performance in Philadelphia's loss to New England in the Super Bowl. McNabb responded harshly and the two feuded throughout the summer, not speaking to each other for a prolonged period.

McNabb, a five-time Pro Bowl quarterback who has led the Eagles to four consecutive NFC championship games, has played through several injuries this season, including a sports hernia that will require surgery. He has thrown for 2,034 yards, 15 TDs and seven interceptions while going through some tough stretches.

Owens has 47 catches for 763 yards and six TDs this season.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

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