Bowlen happy T.O. saga over

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Bowlen happy T.O. saga over
Owner had "issues" about receiver

By Bill Williamson
Denver Post Staff Writer
DenverPost.com

Orlando, Fla. - There are few people more pleased to see Terrell Owens signed and sealed in Dallas than Pat Bowlen.

"I'm very happy it's over," the Broncos' owner said Sunday during a break in the owners' meetings. "I'm extremely happy it's over."

When Owens agreed to terms March 16 with Dallas, it ended the Broncos' constant attachment to the controversial receiver. Of course, the team was glued to T.O. because he visited Denver on Jan. 30 and was the only team to meet with him before he agreed with the Cowboys. The Broncos were T.O.'d to death.

Bowlen said, in the end, he had too many "issues" about Owens to feel comfortable about hotly pursuing him. The Broncos indicated to Owens they were only interested in a short-term, incentive-based deal before he signed a lucrative deal with the Cowboys.

Bowlen said he thought the Broncos' locker room, as united as he has seen it in years, didn't need the distraction and that the team was too close to winning a Super Bowl without adding Owens.

"I had a number of issues with it in terms of our locker room," Bowlen said. "I just didn't think we needed it. I have nothing against T.O., but his track record wasn't good in that area."

While Owens isn't coming to Denver, Bowlen isn't going anywhere.

Bowlen put to rest Internet speculation he could be a candidate to replace commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Tagliabue is retiring July 31 or when his successor is named, and the league is starting the process to replace him today.

Bowlen is a strong presence in the league and is part of numerous committees. He is head of the broadcast committee and played an integral role in the recent collective bargaining agreement.

"I wouldn't take that job for all the money in the world," Bowlen said. "I've never heard that one before, but I'm out of the running - O-U-T."

As someone else will take the reins of the league, Bowlen said he is confident about the Broncos' future.

Echoing the recent words of general manager Ted Sundquist, Bowlen is thrilled the Broncos succeeded in their plan to keep their free agents. Denver re-signed eight of its free agents, including high-priority free agents Ron Dayne, Matt Lepsis, Tom Nalen and Gerard Warren. Denver paid about $18 million in signing bonuses to Lepsis, Nalen and Warren.

"I like what we've done very much," Bowlen said. "I think people have gotten so used to us making so many deals every year that they expect it every year. But we didn't need to this year."

Bowlen, who said he keeps out of the Broncos' draft plans, is excited the team will be able to add some impact players at the draft (April 29-30). As a result of a three-team trade with the Falcons and Jets, the Broncos hold the No. 15 and No. 22 picks in the first round. The Broncos have flexibility, but at this point may be leaning toward using the two picks instead of trading up or down.

"I don't know what we're going to do, but I know we're going to help ourselves," Bowlen said. "I was very pleased with that trade."

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_3642428?source=rss
 
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