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Tag:Ryan Wilson
Posted on: February 14, 2012 8:14 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 8:16 pm
 

T.O., nearly broke, doesn't want your pity

Owens says he trusted the wrong people and now he's nearly broke and facing mounting bills. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The NFL season may be over but that doesn't mean there's no football on the horizon. Yes, the NFL Combine is less than two weeks away but the same day that offensive linemen and tight ends go through their on-field paces at Lucas Oil Stadium, Terrell Owens will be making is IFL debut with the Allen Wranglers.

Okay, you were probably expecting a bit more in the "Wait, there's still football!" build up. And we suspect that, come Februrary 25, many of you will opt to watch 350-pound guys run 40 yards in a straight line (possible unintentional comedy value) over T.O.'s not-so-triumphant return to football (if you're into tragicomedy, then maybe Owens and the Wranglers are for you).

Part of the reason T.O. signed up for IFL duty is because he had burned a lot of NFL bridges. And of those left standing, no one was interested enough in a 37-year-old wide receiver with behavior-management issues to give him a shot. So the Wranglers, where Owens is also co-owner, was his only football-playing option. Exacerbating matters: T.O., who was in the NFL for 15 seasons and signed contracts worth $80 million, is nearly broke.

Appearing on ESPN Radio recently, Owens, however, said people shouldn't feel sorry for him.

"Absolutely not," he said via Sports Radio Interviews. "As far as my situation? The thought that I’ve lost $80 million dollars? That’s a little bit skewed considering like you said if you look at the years and the contracts that I have had and me not actually completing a couple of those contracts in their entirety.

"Again no matter what I have lost money," he continued. "It’s partially my fault because I didn’t manage and I wasn’t on top of my financial people as I should have. Again who’s to say how much I lost? Have I lost money? Yeah. Was it $80 million? I doubt it. But at the same time I feel like this is a situation for me to go out and speak and let a lot of guys know that are coming into the National Football League or any league for that matter … When you have financial advisors that you’re dealing with and that are on their team that are supposed to be taking care of their finances … I feel victim to it because I had heard about these stories prior to it happening to me and there’s going to be some other stories after me. The fact that I took for granted the orientations and the seminars that we had during the course of football season where these guys basically came in and tried to help us, facilitate us and educate us on your financial matters. I didn’t take advantage of that because I was referred to this guy that mismanaged my situation by my agent and my marketing guys."

Owens first spoke publicly about his financial situation in the January issue of GQ, even recounting one story where a friend, "a guy who I'd helped when his grandmother passed," drained one of his bank accounts of more than $270,000. He says the bank returned the money but "it pretty much destroyed whatever trust in people I had left." The article says that Owens never had many friends — teammates never called him to party, he says, wrongly assuming that he was "too big" to socialize — and now, "I don't have no friends. I don't want no friends. That's how I feel."

His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, called when he found out Owens had taken huge finiancial losses.

"When Drew heard about what had happened with my money, he said, 'Oh man, is there anything I can do?' " Owens told GQ. "And I said, 'Dude, are you going to give me my money back? I don't think so, so why bother trying to appease me?' " (Rosenhaus' response: "In my opinion, the conversation did not go down that way." )

Now T.O. is left with barely anything in the bank, plenty of Bills -- including child support payments to four women that total $44,600 a month -- and until he signed with the Wranglers, no discernible income.

"Now I’m even hungrier to get back on top and do the things I think the way I should have been doing it," he told ESPN Radio. "I’ve had some people who have supposedly been in my corner that have my bests interests in heart and I’ve come to find out that’s not what happened. Again I will reiterate it is partially my fault because I wasn’t doing my due diligence to be on top of my own finances and it’s a sad situation.”

And that brings us back to the Wranglers. T.O. will make his debut in 11 days.

"…I’m using this as a platform really to keep myself in shape. The business side of it too is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team, so again this is me transitioning into life after football. That’s the business side of it, obviously football doesn’t last forever and I feel I’m physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple more years in the National Football League and that’s what I’m pushing for," he said. 

"Other than that I’m not going to give up hope just because somebody says that I’m 38 and I just had a knee injury. Injuries are part of the game. I think everybody knows my track record … I work out hard, I’m going to do whatever I can to get back on the field and get back to 100 percent and I’m doing that.”

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:57 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 7:25 pm
 

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

'There’s no question it can be worked out if [Peyton] wants to be here.' - owner Jim Irsay (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

By all accounts, Indianapolis' first Super Bowl was a resounding success. From all the things the host committee could control (hotels, media, fans, transportation), to even those it couldn't (the weather), it was a seamless process that made last year's Super Bowl in Dallas seem more like Thunderdome.

If there was one blemish -- albeit a tiny one -- it was the after-school-special-style drama that played out between Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and team owner Jim Irsay. Whether the leaks about Manning's health were planned or not (we think they were), the fact remains: Peyton's neck injury is serious enough to raise questions about his future in Indy, and it's to the point where just about everybody figures he'll be playing elsewhere in 2012 (or whenever he's healthy).

Manning's Offseason Saga
Except that Irsay now seems amenable to keeping Peyton in Indy. (Seriously, we're almost at the point where Manning and the Colts are like that insane couple you know who break up every few months in a spectacularly public spectacle only to get back together days later to try to make it work. And because they really, really love each other.)

“We can make it work if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay told the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell Tuesday. “We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.

“I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.’’

Manning, 35, missed the 2011 season while he recovered from multiple neck surgeries. The Colts went 2-14, Irsay subsequently cleaned house, and now, with a new front office, coaching staff and the first overall pick, looks to rebuild a franchise that Peyton led to one championship, 11 playoff appearances, eight 12-plus-win seasons, and a 141-67 record.

“There’s no question it can be worked out if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay, who has concerns over Manning’s long-term health, told the Star. “It can work if he wants to come back and can get back to being the old Peyton.’’

Of course, this won't preclude the Colts from taking a quarterback with that top pick. And it also means that Manning, should he want to stay, won't be in line for the $28 million bonus that's due March 8. Irsay expects to meet with Peyton in the next week, and as Chappell notes, the $28 million bonus activates the final four years and $90 million of his current contract.

In light of Irsay's comments, here are Manning's choices: a) don't budge off the $28 million and expect the Colts to release him (there will be plenty of interest in Manning's services in free agency, no matter his current health status), or b) rework his contract and stay with the Colts where he'll most likely serve as a mentor to Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.

It still seems like a long shot that Manning would return to the Colts, primarily because if he thinks he can play at a high level for 2-3 more years, he won't get that opportunity in Indy if the new franchise quarterback is standing over his shoulder.

The Star's Bob Kravitz guesses that Manning won't "be thrilled" when the owner and the quarterback eventually talk because any scenario that includes Peyton and the Colts in the same sentence will also mean that he'll have to take a hefty paycut to stay in town.

"The franchise looks good here either way," Kravitz wrote Tuesday night. "If he leaves, then the Colts can say, 'Well, it’s on Peyton. That was his choice.’' If he returns, it’s going to be on the Colts’ terms, and while Manning comes off as the ultimate hero, the Colts and Irsay get some of that reflected glory."

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:57 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Where will Randy Moss play?

Moss is coming back -- where could he end up? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Move over, Mr. Valentine: there's a new guy in our hearts, and his name is Randy Moss. Moss announced his return to football via USTREAM and in the latest installment of the Pick-Six Podcast we break down his performance on live Internet television, and wonder where he might end up playing in 2012 (if anywhere).

We also discuss whether or not DeSean Jackson is a worthwhile franchise-tag candidate, what other wide receivers are available on the free-agent market, who'd they rather have in a wrasslin' match between Jason Pierre-Paul and Brandon Jacobs, and whether Roger Goodell is overpaid at $20 million a year or not. All that plus much, much more below.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Wayne on Pats: 'Who wouldn't want to play there?'

Wayne's career in Indy may be over but he'll play somewhere (New England?) in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Way back in August, days after the lockout had ended and before any of the 32 teams had their hopes and dreams crushed, Colts owner Jim Irsay asked veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne, in the last year of his contract, to be patient. There would be no new deal during the season.

"At this point," Irsay said at the time, "I don't anticipate that sort of thing, an extension or anything like that. We always talk about next year, where we're going to be with the (salary) cap, what type of situation we're going to be in because it's going to come quickly. We prepare for next year whether it's Pierre (Garcon), or Robert and Reggie."

The Colts stumbled to a 2-14 record without Peyton Manning, who along with Wayne, appears to have played his last game in Indy. To Wayne's credit, he never complained publicly or entertained thoughts of holding out, even saying last summer that "I'm a Colt, what else I'm gonna be?"


On Friday, ESPN's Josina Anderson asked Wayne about his NFL future. He doesn't sound much different in February than he did in July. 

"All I know is the Colts," he said. "That is where I want to be. I have been there 11 years and I would prefer to end my career a Colt. 

"However, in due time those feelings could subside. I know one thing, my phone works. I do have service and every last bar on it and their number has not come across it yet. I haven't heard anything from [the Colts] yet, so maybe I am not as important on the chain of command as I should be. 

"But either way, I'm cool," Wayne continued. "I have nothing bad to say about the Colts. The Colts took me in and made me a millionaire. I had nothing before I got here but a bunch of invoices. So either way I am still good, and I will still be friends with all of my teammates. But I am still at a point with all of this Peyton stuff, and this Andrew Luck stuff that I can't be all the way worrying just about that. My phone hasn't rung yet. It's only fair I worry about number 87 first. When I'm signed, then I can weigh in more." 

We've been saying for almost two months that Wayne's future could be tied to Manning's. Wherever Peyton ends up, it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that Wayne won't be far behind. (This week, the Dolphins are the favorites to land Manning; Wayne went to the U. And if Manning goes to the Jets, it makes sense that Wayne would follow him there too.)

But should the duo go their separate ways after playing together for a decade, the Patriots would be a logical landing spot for the wide receiver. Here's what we wrote on December 22 about possible destinations for Wayne in 2012:

"1. New England. Consider it payback for Adam Vinatieri, but more importantly, it’ll give Tom Brady the deep threat Chad Ochocinco never developed into. Wayne’s game is built on precise route-running, which is imperative in Peyton Manning’s offense (and Brady's). And it’s something Ochocinco never had to worry about in Cincinnati."

Wayne isn't a burner (he's 33 and an 11-year veteran), but he knows how to get open on short, medium and deep routes, something Ochocinco struggled with from the moment he arrived in Foxboro.

And while Wayne-to-the-Pats was nothing more than speculation, it also makes sense.  Former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, now an NFL Network analyst, has spoken to Wayne about relocating to New England.

“It came up in the conversation would he ever want to play for the Patriots,” McGinest said according to the Boston Herald. “He smiled and said, ‘Who wouldn’t want to play there?’

“If it could have worked with Chad (Ochocinco), it would have been good. It didn’t. I just think (Tom Brady) has a lot of weapons, but he can always use that stretch-the-field receiver," McGinest said. "When they had Randy (Moss) there, it really made it tough for teams to stop them. Reggie Wayne is somebody who could stretch the field. He has great hands, he’s a professional who could pick up the system. Having another big-time receiver like that would put it over the top.”

And that was our point back in December. Ochocinco has been a disaster, Wes Welker is a possession receiver not a deep threat, and the passing offense is built around the tight ends.

ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith points out that Bill Belichick is a longtime Wayne fan, too.

“I can’t say enough about Reggie Wayne,” Belichick said during the 2009 season. “That guy is the best receiver we cover every year and it seems like he just keeps getting better.”

The Patriots have a history of taking guys who regularly torch them. That's how Welker ended up in New England in 2007.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 7:30 pm
 

T.O. on NFL: I wasn't a bad teammate, disruptive

After 15 seasons and five teams, T.O.'s NFL career appears to be over. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Terrell Owens last played in an NFL game on December 19, 2010 as a member of the Bengals. It was his first and last year in Cincinnati, one half of the self-proclaimed "Batman and Robin" along with Chad Ochocinco. The duo was so dynamic that quarterback Carson Palmer opted for retirement over another year in Cincy, T.O. wasn't re-signed and Ochocinco was shipped off to New England.

Owens, then 37, was allowed to walk for reasons other than his on-field skills. In 14 games during the 2010 season, he caught 72 passes for 983 yards including 10 touchdowns. Still, despite holding midseason 2011 workouts to show that he had fully recovered from knee surgery, Owens didn't get a sniff from any of the 32 NFL teams. Ultimately, he ended up joining the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League where he is also a co-owner.

T.O. appearing recently on KESN-FM, spoke about about his year away from the NFL and his IFL future.

"I'm using this as a platform to keep myself in shape," he said according to the Dallas Morning News. "The business end of it is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team.

"This is me transitioning to life after football. I feel I'm physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple of more years in the National Football League. That's what I'm pushing for. I'm not going to give up hope just because I'm 38 and just had a knee injury. I think a lot of why I probably didn't play this year, everybody keeps talking about the 'character' issues. The last two or three years relatively I was quiet, knowing that everybody was saying that I had a character issue, I'm disruptive, there's a lot of hype that comes with me, they're saying I'm a distraction here and there.

"That's all hearsay," Owens continued. "If you ask a bunch of my teammates, a lot of it is basically blown out of proportion, the media making me into a fall guy. Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn't a bad teammate. Was I disruptive. No I wasn't disruptive."

Here's the thing: Owens, as far as we know, was never arrested for beating his girlfriend or making it rain or carrying a concealed weapon. But it's also a stretch to say that he wasn't, at one time or another, disruptive. Owens implied that former teammate Jeff Garcia was gay, and then there was the falling out with Donovan McNabb. So, yeah, there's some revisionist history going on because, realistically, Owens could've helped a WR-needy team last season if not for he fact that he was, you know, a huge disruption.

"I feel like I have a lot of football left and I'm looking forward to getting back to playing," he said. "I think the thing ... I didn't get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I'm this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team's chemistry. They won't allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won't allow me to be a better person. Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago. Why don't I get a pass? I've kind of fallen into that villain category and I can't get out of that box."

And at 38, Owens likely won't get a chance, at least not in the NFL.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 5:22 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 5:24 pm
 

Report: Tommie Harris' wife on life support

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The wife of defensive lineman Tommie Harris is on life support after suffering either a stroke or brain aneurism, family friend Bill Horn told the Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen.

"We are holding on for a miracle," Horn said.

Harris was the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He played seven seasons with the Bears where he was a Pro Bowler. The team released him after the 2010 season. He was also released by the Colts during the 2011 preseason before signing with the Chargers where he played in 13 games, registered 13 tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble.

Jensen reports that Ashley, 29, is in an Oklahoma hospital and some of Harris' Chicago teammates are en route to offer their support. Ashley gave birth to the couple's second child in October.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 4:58 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:29 am
 

Madonna on M.I.A.: 'I wasn't happy about it'

Turns out, Madonna wasn't that impressed with M.I.A. and her middle finger. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

You may have heard something about Madonna being the halftime entertainment at Super Bowl XLVI. For the most part, the show went off without a hitch. There were plenty of pyrotechnics and dancers and, well, all the things we've come to expect from one of television's biggest spectacles. There was even a special guest -- M.I.A.

And while it wasn't a Janet Jackson-level code red, M.I.A. did cause collective panties to bunch when, during her performance with Madonna on the song "Give Me All Your Luvin,'" she extended her middle finger and later uttered an expletive. NBC and the NFL scrambled to issue apologies.

On Friday, Madonna called into "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" and spoke publicly for the first time about the hubbub.

“I was really surprised,” she said according to ABCnews.com. “I didn’t know anything about it. I wasn’t happy about it. I understand it’s punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity it seemed negative. It’s such a teenager … irrelevant thing to do … there was such a feeling of love and unity there, what was the point? It was just out of place.”

This is the older, wiser Madonna talking. At 53, she sounds a lot different than the woman Rolling Stone's Caryn Ganz described as "[T]he most consistently controversial one since Elvis Presley … until she toned down her press-baiting behavior in the Nineties."

No word on if the FCC will fine NBC for M.I.A.'s one-finger salute. Following Breastgate '04, the FCC fined CBS $550,000. The federal agency subsequently increased the fine for such incidents to $325,000 a pop, which means that M.I.A.'s actions could cost NBC as much as $650,000.

Word on the street is that there was no underlying motive behind M.I.A.'s artistic choices other than “adrenaline and nerves,” and she got “caught up in the moment.”

For what it's worth, we were in the auxiliary press boxes for Super Bowl XLVI and neither saw nor heard M.I.A. violating the FCC's indecency laws. Franky, we didn't even know she was there. (see below for visual proof -- click photos to enlarge).

The view of the halftime show from the auxillary press box. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com) Even zoomed in it was hard to make out naughty hand gestures. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 2:25 pm
 

SNL spoofs Eastwood's Chrysler Super Bowl spot

Hader parodies Eastwood in SNL's version of 'It's halftime, America.' (YouTube/Hulu)

By Ryan Wilson

Chrysler's Super Bowl commercial featuring Clint Eastwood's "It's halftime, America" pep talk was inadvertently pulled from YouTube last Sunday night not because of objectionable content or copyright infringement but because of a mix-up.

The day after the Super Bowl, the Wall Street Journal's Suzanne Vranica wrote that Chrysler "was one of the few big-game advertisers that didn’t release its Super Bowl commercial prior to the game. That meant it missed out on the millions of dollars in free publicity that other advertisers got from online airings of their ads beforehand. Post-game online availability would have helped make up for that."

The spot was generally well received (save the Karl Rove crowd) and given all the subsequent attention (as of this writing, it's been viewed almost 6.5 million times on YouTube), there is little concern that the ad hasn't been widely seen. Especially since Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader parodied the commercial over the weekend.


"I don't care if Obama runs the ball, or Romney throws a touchdown, or Ron Paul kicks a field goal with his tiny little chicken legs," Hader-as-Eastwood warns. "I tell you right now, though, I ain't puttin' Santorum in the game. He can stand on the sideline doin' cheers in his little sweater vest."

(Trent Lott takes offense to the cheerleader crack.)

The original Chrysler-Eastwood spot is below:


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com