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Owens calls criticism of agent 'utterly ridiculous'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Terrell Owens believes the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers are responsible for his contract predicament -- not his agent.

Owens, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver, is still under contract to
the 49ers after his agent missed the NFL deadline for notifying the
team of his intention to void the final three years of his deal.
Owens and agent David Joseph claim they weren't told that the
deadline had been moved up 10 days to Feb. 21.

"I can assure you that neither my agent nor myself made a
mistake like this," Owens told Sporting News Radio on Friday.
"For people to go out and say my agent made a mistake is utterly
ridiculous and insane."

Owens said neither he nor his agent ever received notification
of the advanced deadline. Joseph has filed a grievance with the NFL
Management Council through the players' union, but a hearing hasn't
been scheduled.

Owens hoped to land a big contract as an unrestricted free
agent, but unless Thursday's league ruling is overturned, the 49ers
will be free to keep Owens' rights or trade him. San Francisco
officials had no comment on the situation Friday.

Owens criticized the 49ers for showing "no loyalty" and ripped
team consultant Bill Walsh during the interview, but didn't rule
out returning to his only NFL team.

"With these distractions going on, I'm going to prepare myself
harder than I ever have," Owens said. "I don't foresee myself
being in San Francisco, but if that's the case, they know the type
of player they are going to get.