New York, NY (Sports Network) - Wide receivers Terrell Owens of the San Francisco 49ers and Dennis Northcutt of the Cleveland Browns may soon be looking for new agents.
The representatives for the players, each of whom indicated that they were looking forward to testing the free agent market this offseason, apparently did not file the appropriate paperwork necessary to void their respective deals.
The NFL management council has already confirmed Northcutt's status, while San Francisco is awaiting a decision in the Owens' case.
Owens, who would have become a free agent next week, finished the 2003 season with 80 receptions for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns before suffering a broken collarbone. Possibly the top free agent available in this year's pool, the 30-year-old Owens has made four consecutive Pro Bowls.
Because Owens' agent, David Joseph, did not officially notify the club of his client's intentions, the wide receiver will have another three years to go on his current contract with the 49ers. The eight-year veteran is signed with San Francisco through the 2006 season.
The news comes one day after the NFL confirmed that Northcutt suffered a similar paperwork snafu, and will remain under contract with the Browns through the 2006 season.
Northcutt's agent, Jerome Stanley, did not send a certified letter to Cleveland by February 19 stating that Northcutt would be opting out of the final three years of his deal.
The 26-year-old Northcutt, who led the Browns with 62 catches for 729 yards and two touchdowns last season, will remain under contract with Cleveland through the 2006 season.
The recent turn of events has made Seattle's Darrell Jackson, who caught 68 balls for 1,137 yards and nine scores in 2003, the undisputed leader amongst free agents at the wide receiver position.