Eagles inform Owens in writing of behavior issues

Updated: August 15, 2005, 11:54 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Philadelphia Eagles have sent wide receiver Terrell Owens a letter outlining what they perceive is a series of behavioral problems over the last two weeks, a league source told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.

Owens acknowledged in a conversation on Monday with ESPN's Michael Irvin that he had received the letter.

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The letter was sent over the weekend and arrived at Owens' home in Atlanta on Monday, two days before he is scheduled to meet with head coach Andy Reid at the Eagles' practice facility.

In the meantime, a message posted Monday on Owens' Web site said the wide receiver will return to training camp and said he had become "the media's favorite whipping boy."

The message is attributed to terrellowens.com and does not indicate whether Owens wrote it, or otherwise approved of its contents. An e-mail to the Web site asking whether Owens wrote or approved of the message was not immediately returned late Monday afternoon.

"This situation has mushroomed far beyond what should be considered adequate coverage, and Terrell has become the media's favorite whipping boy. While this is discouraging, Terrell knows this is part of the business. To the fans he simply says that this was an isolated incident that was not premeditated. Terrell in no way wishes to be a disruption to the ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl. In fact Terrell has gone out of his way to diffuse the tension by keeping to himself in all non-practice related affairs. During practice and work related situations he has been and will be attentive and responsive; Terrell only asks what every other worker in America asks for, respect and dignity."

"[Owens] will return to camp and continue to display the work ethic, and on-the-field dedication that has made him one of the world's most elite athletes," the message reads. "...Terrell plans to reward you with a season for the ages. Where small men succumb, great men overcome!"

Eagles officials, most notably Reid, have been compiling detailed notes on Owens' behavior, delineating any incident they deemed questionable, in case the club needed documentation in any grievance or arbitration case.

A source characterized the letter as the beginning of a process to suspend Owens from the team if Owens' behavior does not change after that meeting takes place. Owens is expected, according to the Eagles, to rejoin the team on Wednesday, but Reid has said he would only allow Owens back on the field if he sees a marked change in his behavior and attitude.

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