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Owens, Ravens await appeal result

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Instead of taking a physical with the Baltimore Ravens, Terrell Owens bided his time Monday, waiting to see if he will be declared a free agent by a special arbitrator.

The Ravens waited for the same decision.

The tempestuous wide receiver was traded to Baltimore by San Francisco last week for a second-round draft choice after the league ruled his agent had not voided the final three years of his contract by a Feb. 21 deadline.

He was traded last Thursday after the Ravens offered more than the Philadelphia Eagles, the team Owens expressed a desire to play for.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday the league had been informed by the NFL Players Association that the union will ask special master Stephen Burbank to have Owens' contract voided, making him a free agent.

Burbank is in charge of settling disputes involving the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

In a statement Monday, Owens made it clear he does not plan to suit up for the Ravens.

"So that there is no misunderstanding, regardless of what happens with the grievance, under the present circumstances I do not see myself playing for the Ravens," Owens said. "I can assure everyone that I will continue to keep fighting for my right to play for the team of my choice even after the grievance. At the end of this process, I simply want to be able to exercise my right to play for a team of my choosing under a deal that is fair to me and my family."

Meanwhile, quarterback Jeff Garcia, Owens' former teammate in San Francisco, was offered an $8 million, two-year contract by the Cleveland Browns. Garcia worked out in Tampa on Sunday and there were reports he is close to a deal with the Bucs, whose West Coast offense is the system in which he thrived with the 49ers.

One indication that Garcia might not sign with Cleveland came from Tim Couch, the Browns' incumbent quarterback, who has been asked to take a pay cut.

"I still want to be here," Couch said Monday after working out at the team's training facility. "I still want to be part of this organization. I still believe in my teammates here and believe they can get it done."

In other developments Monday:

The Jets released veteran wide receiver Curtis Conway and welcomed Justin McCareins, obtained for a second-round draft choice from Tennessee last week. "It's great to have a team be that interested in you," said MCareins, who caught 47 passes for the Titans last season and scored seven touchdowns, one against the Jets in their Monday night upset victory over Tennessee.

The Vikings agreed to terms with wide receiver Marcus Robinson, whose career experienced a brief renaissance in Baltimore. They hope he'll be a complement to Randy Moss.

After Chicago let him go last year, Robinson signed with the Ravens and finished the season strong. He caught 22 passes for 375 yards and six touchdowns over the final five regular-season games for playoff-bound Baltimore.

"It gives us an opportunity to stretch the field more with a veteran receiver who has done it before in this league at a high level," Vikings coach Mike Tice said.

Cincinnati re-signed center Rich Braham, who has spent his entire 10-year career with the team.

The NFC champion Panthers signed offensive lineman Adam Meadows to a five-year contract. Meadows was cut two weeks ago by the Indianapolis Colts in a salary-cap move. His acquisition helps fill the void left when guard Jeno James went to Miami in free agency and Kevin Donnalley retired.

Linebacker Barrett Green left Detroit for the Giants. Green started all 16 games for the Lions last season, with 117 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. His father, Joe, played safety for the Giants in 1970-71.

Guard Steve Herndon, who mostly was a reserve in Denver the past three years, reached contract terms with Atlanta.