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Children in a sandbox play better together than Donovan McNabb(notes) and Terrell Owens(notes) did when they both were with the Philadelphia Eagles. After some initial success in Owens' first year, the two barely spoke, clashed in public, divided the locker room and bitterly divorced during what would become the worst football season of the decade in the City of Brotherly Love.
Despite all that, Donovan McNabb is reportedly open to playing with Terrell Owens again. Sources tell ESPN.com that McNabb, who was recently traded to the Washington Redskins, has encouraged the team's coaching staff to look at the unsigned Owens to fill the team's need at wide receiver. McNabb and Owens reportedly patched things up during a recent taping of a reality TV show.
ESPN reports that the team is not currently pursuing Owens and would like to avoid bringing him into the locker room. That's not the right decision, it's the only decision.
Even if T.O. was at his peak, the last thing McNabb would need in his first season in D.C. is the mercurial wideout hanging around and threatening to derail the whole operation with one outburst. T.O. is like a powder keg of diva. Under the right conditions he can be an explosive asset. Under the wrong conditions he can just explode. This is the wrong condition.
And it's not like Owens is all that good anymore either. You used to be able to put up with his attitude because of the talent. Now that his abilities have slipped at age 36, the risk-reward isn't as compelling.
Don't bank on this one happening. Other sources have told reporters that the ESPN reports are highly exaggerated. But, for the sake of argument, let's say that the story is true and that McNabb "encouraged" the front office staff to sign Owens. Couldn't it have gone down this way:
Mike Shanahan: "We need a receiver. Though we don't want to do this -- at all -- if things get desperate, do you think you could ever work with T.O. again, Donovan?"
McNabb: (Believing he'd have a better chance to play with Art Monk) "Uh, sure."
It's like when your wife asks you to go with her to a craft show in six months and you say 'yes" because part of you knows what she wants to hear and the other part figures it will never come to fruition. McNabb may be not completely closed to the possibility, but he's far from open to it, either.