Eagles' Terrell Owens "Trade" Named One Of The 10 Most Disappointing Trades Of The Past 25 Years

Football Outsiders' writer Mike Tanier did a piece for ESPN this week about the top 10 most disappointing NFL trades of the past 25 years. The Eagles "trade" for Terrell Owens made the list.

One of the most complicated "trades" in history: this was really a three-team settlement that involved a purported trade of Owens to the Ravens, some allegedly misfiled free agency paperwork and the kind of confusing tomfoolery that can only take place when the most inept front office (San Francisco) in the NFL tries to get rid of one of the league's most contentious players. The Niners thought they had a second-round pick from the Ravens; instead, they got a late-round pick and Whiting, who played only five games in San Francisco. The Eagles got one charmed season, sit-ups in a driveway and a long nuclear winter when Owens undermined Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb and disrupted the Eagles' family-like chemistry.

As he explained, this transaction was very odd and clearly didn't work out in the end for anyone... but it seems out of place on a list of the worst trades. In the end, you see a trade as one that two teams willingly enter thinking they'll be getting the best of the deal. Clearly that was not the case here. TO was supposed to be a free agent, but his agent apparently didn't know when to file the papers (Tommy Lawlor says that this actually wasn't the case). The Niners traded him to the Ravens, but he refused to accept the deal because he wanted to come to Philadelphia. When it reportedly became apparent that a special master appointed to resolve the case was going to rule in favor of Owens, granting him full free agent status, the NFL quickly got the teams involved to work out a deal. The Eagles sent the nominal compensation detailed in the article more as a face saving measure for the league than anything.

So, I'd hardly call it a trade and it doesn't really belong on this list... but it is true that it sure didn't work out in the end!

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