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Controversial Owens catches on with Bengals

Associated Press / July 28, 2010

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Receiver Terrell Owens agreed to a contract with the Bengals yesterday and will report to training camp in a couple of days, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.

The Bengals were his first choice, giving him a chance to team with close friend Chad Ochocinco, who has already dubbed the pair Batman and Robin. The Bengals made an offer Monday, and Owens accepted yesterday.

Players are required to report for the start of training camp today in Georgetown, Ky. Owens is expected to show up when workouts begin tomorrow, said the person speaking on condition of anonymity because the team had made no announcement.

On his Twitter account, all Owens would say was, “Hoping 2 b a Bengal w/in the 24hrs!!’’ He’s expected to sign his deal with he arrives in Georgetown.

Already, it’s like something out of a reality show.

Ochocinco gushed about the matchup on his Twitter feed, welcoming Owens and joking that “all of our games have been moved to pay-per-view, you got to pay to see this.’’

Both of the look-at-me receivers are accustomed to cable.

By adding the 36-year-old Owens, the Bengals will lead the NFL in reality show stars. Ochocinco competed on “Dancing With the Stars’’ in the offseason, and has a dating show called “Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch’’ currently running on VH1. After Ochocinco’s show comes “The T.O. Show.’’

Bengals owner Mike Brown has a history of providing extra chances to players who have caused trouble, allowing them to extend their careers in Bengals stripes. In the last two years, the Bengals also have signed receiver Chris Henry, running back Cedric Benson, running back Larry Johnson, and receiver , all of whom were let go because of off-field issues.

“Yes, people can make mistakes,’’ Brown said at the team’s preseason luncheon on Monday. “It doesn’t mean that they go on the rest of their lives making mistakes.’’

Agent Drew Rosenhaus, who represents Owens and Ochocinco, didn’t return a phone message to discuss the deal, believed to be for one year.

Bradford closer?
The Rams are optimistic they’ll sign No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford soon, perhaps by tomorrow when quarterbacks and rookies are due for their first training camp workout. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said talks are proceeding with Bradford and he was hopeful a deal would be reached soon. The coach added that Bradford, the former Oklahoma quarterback, has said in the past that he wanted to be in camp on time . . . The Eagles signed safety Nate Allen, their second-round draft pick, to a four-year contract. That leaves first-round pick Brandon Graham as the Eagles’ only unsigned draft pick . . . The Broncos signed third-round wide receiver Eric Decker and offensive lineman Zane Beadles (second round) one day before rookies were scheduled to report to camp. First-round picks Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow are the team’s only remaining unsigned rookies.

Tatum dead at 61
Former Pro Bowl safety Jack Tatum, one of the hardest hitters in NFL history, died after suffering a massive heart attack at an Oakland, Calif., hospital. The ex-Raider, 61, will always be remembered for delivering the hit that left Patriots receiver Darryl Stingley paralyzed in August 1978. Obituary, B12 . . . The Steelers expect to go through most or all of training camp without knowing the exact date when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can play again. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the suspension could be reduced by two games if Roethlisberger has no more behavioral issues and does all that is asked by the league. Roethlisberger was suspended April 21 after being accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a Georgia college student in March . . . Cowboys rookie receiver Dez Bryant, who caused a mini uproar at camp Sunday when he refused to carry veteran Roy Williams’s pads after practice, said the matter had been cleared up and blamed the media for blowing it out of proportion. “Me and Roy are great,’’ he said. “[Reporters] are trying to put me and Roy against each other. That’s not going to happen.’’ In a light moment yesterday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s grandson helped Williams take his pads off then carried Bryant’s pads after practice . . . The NFL will distribute a new poster to teams that warns of the dangers from concussions. Traumatic brain injury “may lead to problems with memory and communication, personality changes, as well as depression and the early onset of dementia,’’ the document reads. “Concussions and conditions resulting from repeated brain injury can change your life and your family’s life forever.’’ The acknowledgment of such risks is a change from a pamphlet previously distributed to players. That pamphlet said: “Current research with professional athletes has not shown that having more than one or two concussions leads to permanent problems if each injury is managed properly.’’

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