Owens makes his Philly pitch

In his inimitable, irrepressible style, Terrell Owens made another move this week leaning toward out of town. In Thursday's edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Owens exuded about how willing and able he'd be to slip into the Eagles' lineup. And - as Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb indicated last month before the Niners played the Eagles - it could be a match made in football heaven.

"I'd definitely love to come to Philly," Owens said in an interview with an Inquirer sports columnist. "Those guys have gotten to the NFC championship game three years in a row. Absolutely no disrespect to the players they have, but there's something out there they need to get them over the hump. I definitely believe I'm that missing piece. Not to take away from guys on their squad. I just don't see them being playmakers."

Owens never has been one to mince words, but his candor apparently reflects similar feelings in Philadelphia, where the Eagles' talent at receiver doesn't exactly match the talent they have at quarterback.

The Eagles have plenty of room under the salary cap to offer Owens the type of megabucks contract he is looking for in free agency. If the Niners don't sign him to a contract extension by March 1, he undoubtedly will void the final years of his contract with San Francisco, declare himself a free agent and start looking for a new team to pay him.

Owens also continues to make thinly-veiled suggestions that he would like to play with a different quarterback. Owens, on his web site, has openly ripped Niners starter Jeff Garcia recently, and he didn't exactly endorse him to the Inquirer.

He'd much rather play with a strong-armed quarterback such as McNabb, Owens said.

"I just know what I bring to the table, as far as my ability," Owens said. "And I, myself, can definitely benefit from McNabb's arm. I think McNabb is a great QB. I think he's in a similar situation that I'm in out in San Fran. A receiver is only as good as his quarterback.

"My abilities rely on a QB's ability and his arm. Jeff (Garcia) is not someone that's a pocket passer that's going to throw 50 yards down the field. On the flip side, McNabb can throw that pass, but has guys that struggle to turn them into something."

McNabb, when asked last month whether he'd like to see Owens with the Eagles next season, said, "That would be great. I think he would like that as well as I would."

Owens and McNabb have talked about joining forces in Philly, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen. Eagles management will have to decide if Owens and the baggage he brings is worth a competitive offer, and there will be other suitors out there willing to offer T.O. the big bucks and the promise of a better situation than he thinks he is getting in San Francisco.

"Free agency is tough," McNabb said. "You kind of visualize this guy on your team and then another team steps up to make the decision. It's going to be tough this offseason. We have talked a couple of times, and it will be a good thing. Not to take anything away from our guys here because our guys have done a wonderful job as well. It's just something that players go through at the end of their contracts."

Owens, who has previously stated he is willing to stay in San Francisco if the right deal can be worked out - if the Niners show him the money, that is - made it sound like he is ready to jump ship if the right offer and situation come along.

Such as what might be offered in Philadelphia, for instance.

"I want to play for a winner," Owens said. "And contrary to what people may believe, I wouldn't be a distraction in Philly because they have all the ingredients, the bona fide elements, to get where we're all trying to get. They utilize their weapons and talents to the max. I don't believe that that was taking place here in San Fran."


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