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Eagles deactivate Owens as planned

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 5, 2005) -- His suspension over, Terrell Owens was deactivated as planned for the Philadelphia Eagles' game against Seattle.

The All-Pro wideout was suspended Nov. 5 after he again criticized quarterback Donovan McNabb, called the organization "classless" and fought with former teammate Hugh Douglas. Two days later, the Eagles extended the suspension to four games and told Owens not to return.

On Nov. 23, an arbitrator upheld the decision, ruling that the Eagles were justified in their actions.

Owens was restored to the 53-man roster last week, but his career in Philadelphia is over. The Eagles plan to deactivate him the remainder of the season and will trade or release him before March, when he's due a roster bonus.

The Eagles reportedly informed Owens he must repay most of his signing bonus he received in March 2004. The team could withhold his pay the rest of the season because he never returned the signing bonus. This might lead to another grievance being filed by the NFL Players Association on Owens' behalf, or by the Eagles if the money isn't returned.

The reigning conference champions are 1-3 without Owens and were last in the NFC East with a 5-6 record going into Monday's game against the Seahawks.

Owens has five years remaining on a seven-year contract that he signed when he came to Philadelphia last year. His problems started when he demanded a new contract after an outstanding season in which he caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns, helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl.

He took his first verbal shot at McNabb in April, suggesting the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was tired in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl loss to New England.

McNabb responded harshly and the two didn't speak for a prolonged period in training camp. They briefly reconciled their relationship and performed well together on the field -- Owens had 47 catches for 763 yards and six TDs in seven games.

Owens was banished for one week from training camp after a heated dispute with coach Andy Reid that followed a shouting match with offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

Owens also annoyed the Eagles by violating the dress code on road trips, parking in coaches' spots at the team's practice facility and sleeping through one team meeting, not bringing his playbook to another and refusing to open the playbook at another meeting.

One day after the Eagles told him to go home for good, a contrite Owens pleaded for another chance in a public apology outside his home in Moorestown, N.J., but the team was unmoved.

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