Owens apologizes to Eagles, McNabb and fans

MOORESTOWN, N.J. - A contrite Terrell Owens, hoping to overturn his dismissal from the Philadelphia Eagles, on Tuesday apologized to coach Andy Reid, quarterback Donovan McNabb, the team's owner and president, and fans.

''I fight for what I think is right. In doing so, I alienated a lot of my fans and my teammates,'' Owens said, reading a statement outside his house.

His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Owens was making a public apology in hopes of returning to the Eagles


A team spokesman said the Eagles had no comment.

Owens on Monday was told by the team not to return this season. The decision resulted from ''a large number of situations that accumulated over a long period of time, during which Terrell had been warned repeatedly about the consequences of his actions,'' Reid said.

The All-Pro wide receiver didn't play in Sunday night's 17-10 loss at Washington, and will remain suspended for three more games without pay. After that, the Eagles plan to deactivate him for the rest of the season.

He was suspended Saturday, two days after he said the Eagles showed ''a lack of class'' for not publicly recognizing his 100th career touchdown catch in a game on Oct. 23. In the same interview with ESPN.com on Thursday, Owens said the Eagles would be better off with Green Bay's Brett Favre at quarterback instead of McNabb.

Owens apologized specifically to Reid, McNabb, Eagles president Joe Banner, owner Jeffrey Lurie and to fans.

To McNabb, Owens said, ''I apologize to him for any comments that may have been negative.''

McNabb, who feuded with Owens throughout the summer, was a constant target of his criticism. He finally took a stand in the matter Sunday, saying the team might be ''better off'' without Owens.

Asked to elaborate on how the team could be better off without its top receiver, McNabb emphasized the remaining players are united with the same goal of winning.

Rookie Reggie Brown filled in for Owens against

Washington and caught five passes for 94 yards, including a 56-yard TD reception. But the Eagles' offense continued to struggle and couldn't score the tying touchdown with three shots from the Redskins 7 in the final minutes.

The Eagles are 4-4 this season, a steep drop from last season's Super Bowl run.

Owens' relationship with the Eagles took a drastic turn after he fired longtime agent David Joseph, hired Rosenhaus and demanded a new contract just one season into the seven-year, $48.97 million deal he signed when he came to Philadelphia in March 2004.

Owens clashed with management this summer and earned a one-week exile from training camp after a heated dispute with Reid that followed a shouting match with offensive coordinator Brad Childress.

Owens forced a trade to the Eagles last year after eight seasons with the 49ers and invigorated the offense with his superior skills. He had 77 catches for 1,200 yards and 14 TDs in 14 games.

Soon after Philadelphia lost to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Owens took his first shot at McNabb, suggesting the five-time Pro Bowl quarterback was tired in the fourth quarter of the loss.

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

However, Owens continued to throw verbal jabs at