New York, NY (Sports Network) - Disgruntled wide receiver Terrell Owens should be learning the fate of his contract status on Sunday, after his hearing with an arbitrator to be declared a free agent is held on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Owens, who was looking forward to becoming a free agent this offseason after eight years with the San Francisco 49ers, was ruled to be still under contract to San Francisco by the NFL's Management Council in late February.
Owens' agent, David Joseph, apparently did not formally notify the 49ers that his client would void the final three years of his existing contract with San Francisco before the February 21 deadline.
At Saturday's hearing, filed on Owens' behalf by the NFL Players Association, Owens will seek to be ruled a free agent because he and his agent were not formally notified of the changed deadline for notification.
While the 49ers were in trade talks with the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens for the rights to Owens, Owens and Joseph had a deal for a new contract all but signed with Philadelphia, Owens' preferred destination.
However, San Francisco chose to deal Owens to Baltimore for a second-round pick.
University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Steven Burbank will hear the case. The NFL and NFLPA jointly picked Burbank, who plans to have his ruling completed in the case by Sunday, to arbitrate such disputes in early 2003.
Owens finished the 2003 season with 80 receptions for 1,102 yards and nine touchdowns before suffering a broken collarbone. A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens would likely have been the top free agent available in this year's market.