Off-season Rumors Fly Early & Often

ESPN 1000 WMVP AM in Chicago reported that WR Terrell Owens had dinner with GM Jerry Angelo Wednesday night at a Chicagoland restaurant.

When the station tried to verify the story, it was neither confirmed nor denied by the Bears. Bear Report is checking further into the matter, but nothing has surfaced at this time.

One thing is definite, Owens will not be back with the Eagles next season. The franchise is expected to release the five-time Pro Bowl wideout before the start of the free agent signing period March 3. It appears no team is willing to give up major compensation in order to obtain the controversial player or take on his current 7-year $49 million contract.

Any team that pursues Owens will not be willing to give him a long-term deal. He's going to have to prove he can produce without stirring up the pot.

Owens may be able to find a new home in South Florida. During a Tuesday ESPN radio interview, Dolphins coach Nick Saban left open the possibility of Miami pursuing Owens, whose agent Drew Rosenhaus has been allowed to seek a trade.

The Atlanta Falcons are also rumored to be a possible destination for Owens, who turned 32 last month.

The Bears are in search of playmakers on offense, but it seems unlikely Angelo would take a flyer on Owens. Muhsin Muhammad caught flack this season after questionable comments and dropping more balls than he or the team would have liked. Adding Owens to the mix would upgrade the talent at wide receiver, but at what price.

Owens divided the locker room of a team that had went to three straight NFC Title games without him and went to the Super Bowl during his first season in Philadelphia. Things took a turn for the worse when he hired Rosenhaus during the off-season and wanted a new contract a year into his current deal. When management stood their ground that's when the situation got ugly.

Despite his status as one of the NFL's top wide receivers, Owens was suspended for Philadelphia's final nine regular-season games for conduct detrimental to the team.

If Owens couldn't get along with Donovan McNabb, a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, how would he deal with the Bears inexperience at the position.

Adding a questionable character, such as Owens, to a young and impressionable locker room would be a big gamble. Such a bold move would define Angelo's tenure with the organization.

Win with Owens and you look like a genius. Take a nosedive after the acquisition and it could lead to regime change.


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