- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

Terrell Owens’ hands and legs have made him a wealthy man, but his uncontrollable mouth and mind keep getting him in trouble. The Pro Bowl receiver’s banishment from Philadelphia’s training camp for a week after an argument with coach Andy Reid is only the most recent problem caused by Owens’ self-centered attitude that could make him an ex-Eagle sooner rather than later.

Remember that Owens, while with San Francisco, publicly berated coach Steve Mariucci and quarterback Jeff Garcia, stomped on the star at Texas Stadium and showed up buddy Shawn Springs in the infamous “Sharpie” incident. And after the 49ers granted his trade request, Owens refused to report to Baltimore because he didn’t think much of Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller. Hence the trade to Philadelphia and his preferred passer, Donovan McNabb.

A year later, McNabb and Owens are barely speaking. Owens’ relationship with Reid has been shaky since the receiver’s unmet demand to redo the seven-year, $49 million contract he signed last year.

Eagles president Joe Banner said yesterday that Owens will not get a new contract and will not play with another team.

“We’ve been clear that the choices are to play under this contract or not,” Banner said. “I’m not sure he still believes that, but we’ve said from Day 1 those were the choices on the table and he had to make a choice between one of the two things. That’s not going to change.”

Owens’ timeout from Philadelphia’s training camp won’t end until he meets with Reid.

“I’ll address him on Wednesday and that’s between T.O. and myself,” Reid said.

With the Eagles missing their other top two receivers from 2004 — Todd Pinkston is out for the season and Freddie Mitchell is now with Kansas City after being cut — Owens seemingly holds all the cards.

However, Reid can say that for all of Owens’ talent, the Eagles won their two NFC playoff games without him last January. In fact, Owens has just one postseason victory since 1998 while Reid has seven.

“You can’t be a distraction like that,” said Jerry Rice, Owens’ former 49ers teammate. “You’ve got to put the team first. T.O. is a great player, but … he’s very defensive. If he feels like you’ve crossed him or stabbed him in the back, he doesn’t forget.”

Meanwhile, Mitchell is sidelined with cartilage damage in a knee he suffered three days into Kansas City’s camp. While Reid finally got fed up after four years of Mitchell’s bluster and lack of production, Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil has “absolutely no complaints.”

Smoot quiets down — Rattled Vikings cornerback Fred Smoot, one of the few players who can make Freddie Mitchell seem reticent, isn’t talking these days after injuring a knee the day after making his Minnesota debut. The former Redskin started camp on the physically unable to perform list with a strained neck he suffered while working out in July.

Kicker Paul Edinger was lured to Minnesota in free agency, too, but the former Bear is in an unexpectedly tough battle with youngster Aaron Elling. Coach Mike Tice trusts Edinger more on field goals despite the veteran’s NFL-worst 15-for-24 accuracy in Chicago last year, but Elling booms his kickoffs.

Tice often purposely walks between the kicker and the holder before the snap. That’s 6-foot-8 and 283 pounds of distraction. Not to mention he’s the coach.

Not impressed — After employing reliable kickers Al Del Greco, Joe Nedney and Gary Anderson the past 11 seasons, Tennessee general manager Floyd Reese “is most worried about” having to go with Arena League product Rob Bironas or Ola Kimrin, a Redskin for six games last year. Kimrin has struggled with his confidence, while Bironas looks good but has no NFL experience.

Boulware still available — Linebacker Peter Boulware turned down an incentive-laden contract to remain in Baltimore this spring. With camps in full swing, Boulware, who was sidelined all of 2004 following knee surgery, remains out of work even though he’s just 30, hadn’t missed a game until hurting the knee in December 2003 and averaged 91/2 sacks during his seven healthy seasons.

Boulware’s fellow Florida State product, Cincinnati receiver Peter Warrick (the fourth pick in the 2000 draft), is in jeopardy of becoming an ex-Bengal after starting camp on the PUP list with lingering knee and shin injuries that kept him out of 12 games last year. This after career highs of 79 catches, 819 yards and seven touchdowns in 2003.

“Peter’s got a tough road to win a job, particularly a starting spot,” said coach Marvin Lewis, who starts Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmanzadeh and has Kelley Washington, rookie Chris Henry, speedy Cliff Russell and special-teamer Kevin Walter in reserve.

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