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Owens may be headed for Philly

Knight Ridder Newspapers

PHILADELPHIA -- All signs point toward Terrell Owens joining the Philadelphia Eagles.

An NFL source told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday night that a compromise to resolve the messy Owens situation was being discussed, with the likely result being that the four-time Pro Bowl receiver would become quarterback Donovan McNabb's No. 1 receiver.

Another source close to the special master hearing that took place on the University of Pennsylvania campus Monday said that even without a compromise, Owens would be ruled a free agent by Penn law professor Stephen Burbank and sign the contract he agreed to with the Eagles shortly before the March 4 trade that sent the controversial receiver from San Francisco to Baltimore for a second-round draft pick.

Lawyers from the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) were at Burbank's campus office in Silverman Hall early Monday for a two-hour hearing in which they argued for and against Owens' being granted free agency.

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A report later surfaced that the parties involved were discussing a possible settlement in which the Ravens would send Owens back to San Francisco for their second-round pick and the 49ers would get a third-round pick from the team that signed Owens. The report said that the Ravens would get a compensatory pick for their part in this ordeal.

In such a scenario, the Eagles would likely be the team to sign Owens, because he already agreed to a deal with them for a reported $10 million signing bonus shortly before the trade between the Niners and Ravens. Owens, 30, has said all along that he wanted to play for the Eagles.

Eagles president Joe Banner remained at the NovaCare Complex later than usual Monday night and declined to comment on the evolving situation.

The only reason the Ravens and 49ers would seemingly agree to a compromise would be if they feared that Burbank's ruling would grant Owens free agency.

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