This absolutely flew under most people’s radar, yet in a sense it is significant for all parties involved. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an arbitrator has ruled that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens owes his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles, nearly $800,000 in signing bonus money.
Specifically, league sources have said that arbitrator Shyam Das ruled last week in favor of the Eagles in the grievance, which was brought on Owens’ behalf by the NFL Players Union; the union was contesting the Eagles’ attempt to recover approximately $1.725 million of the $2.3 million signing bonus that the team paid Owens when he signed a 7-year, $49 million contract back in 2004. In 2005, Owens was suspended 7 games into the season for behavior that was “disruptive to the team”. He was suspended 4 games without pay, then told not to return for the remaining 5 games of the season.
The 4-gamer cost Owens $764,704. When Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not reply to a letter by the Eagles requesting that Owens return his signing bonus, the team garnished his last 5 weekly paychecks, totalling $955,880. With the arbitration ruling, Owens owes the Eagles another $769,120 to complete the $1.725 million signing bonus repayment. The money will then be credited to the team’s salary cap for 2008.