Shanahan hosts get-acquainted meeting with T.O.
By Len Pasquarelli
In the wake of defeat in the AFC championship game, Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan spoke with purposeful vagueness last week about his team's potential to perhaps take on a high-profile player with a problematic past.
On Monday, Shanahan essentially attached an identity to the unnamed veteran player -- Terrell Owens.
ESPN.com has confirmed that Shanahan met with Owens, the exiled Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver, and agent Drew Rosenhaus in Denver. The meeting might be the first step in an effort to acquire Owens, who is still under contract to the Eagles.
It also might amount to nothing at all. But sources said there appears to be some degree of mutual interest, even if the meeting was generally viewed as just a get-acquainted session.
Beyond confirming the meeting, Rosenhaus declined to comment.
The consensus around the league has been that, since most teams believe the Eagles will release Owens before they must pay him bonuses totaling $7.5 million in March, the trade market for him would be blunted. Eagles coach Andy Reid insisted during Senior Bowl all-star game practices last week, though, that several teams had indicated an interest in having trade talks.
Eagles officials early this month granted Rosenhaus permission to seek possible trade partners. Philadelphia's obvious hope is to get something in return before they are forced, for contractual reasons, to release the talented but troublesome Owens. It is not known what kind of market price the Eagles would attach to Owens if Philadelphia finds a franchise willing to enter into substantive trade discussions.
Asked about Owens last week during his season-ending news conference, Shanahan did not mention him by name. But he pointed out that, with such a veteran team, the Broncos might have the ability to bring in a veteran player who had not fit in well with other teams. The consensus was that Shanahan was talking about Owens.
"If somebody handles himself the right way they could come into the organization, but they're going to have to live by the standards we practice," Shanahan said.
Some veterans, most notably center Tom Nalen, told The Denver Post they could see a scenario in which Owens could be absorbed into the Broncos locker room.
"If it would work anywhere, I think it would work here because of the guys in the locker room," Nalen said. "Guys would keep him straight ... I think he'd conform. He'd fit in here. He'd fit into any offense. He's a great player."
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
Would be interesting to see him in that offense