It's highly unlikely the soon-to-be free agent is going to re-sign with the 49ers, the team he has spent the first eight years of career with.
He is helping guarantee his exit with some recent comments about 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia.
"This past season we had a chance to make the playoffs, but we left Jeff in there," Owens said. "I'm willing to workout a contract with the 49ers if they can get a quarterback who can match my skills as a receiver."
The 49ers are not going to release Garcia, who has had a terrific career in San Francisco, to accomodate Owens. Over his five years as a starter with the 49ers, Garcia has thrown 113 touchdowns to just 56 interceptions. He has also completed 61 percent of his passes. A high completion percentage is very important in the West Coast offense.
The 49ers have a few more weeks to exclusively negotiate with Owens, but haven't been particularly proactive.
"As I talk today, the 49ers have yet to seriously pursue a new contract with me," Owens said last week.
So there is a very good chance the 49ers are going to allow Owens to walk. The organization has clearly tired of his act.
If the 49ers fail to sign Owens, the Jets will be high on his shopping list. If he's looking for a top-shelf quarterback, the Jets certainly can supply him one.
"I like Chad Pennington," said Owens. "I like the way he plays. He definitely has a great upside."
Along with the Jets, other teams high on Owens list are the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens.
But Owens might have hurt his chance of becoming an Eagle with a recent comment about the team's wide receiver corps.
"Not to take away from guys on their squad," said Owens, "I just don't see them being playmakers."
How is Owens going to co-exist with a receiver corps that he "dissed" publicly.
As for the Ravens and Falcons, both teams are interested, but don't seem willing to break the bank to sign him. The Ravens have priorities like re-signing shutdown corner Chris McAllister. The Falcons need to reconstruct their anemic defense, and are already spending a fortune on wide receiver Peerless Price, who they gave an enormous contract last off-season.
So when you look at it closely, if Owens is willing to be reasonable with his contract demands, there is a chance he could land in New York.
Owens attitude, and outspoken nature, scare a lot of teams. But according to a Jets source, Herman Edwards feels he can handle Owens with no problem.
Former 49er tight end and current CBS broadcaster Brent Jones told JC recently that Owens and the Jets would make a great match because the receiver would behave himself under a coach like Edwards.
"He tends to take advantage of coaches he doesn't respect," said Jones.
If the Jets make a run at Owens, it won't be the first time. An NFL source told JC during the season, that the Jets and 49ers engaged in trade talks before the 2003 deadline about Owens. The 49ers wanted either a second round pick or defensive end John Abraham. The Jets thought the price was too steep and turned down the 49ers. After all, why give up a lot for a player who is going to a free agent a few months later.
At 6-3, 226 pounds Owens is the type of big, physical West Coast-type receiver the Jets desperately need.
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