PHILADELPHIA -- Terrell Owens will get his wish to play for the Philadelphia Eagles following a settlement reached Tuesday before an arbitrator could rule on the star receiver's case to become a free agent.
The San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Eagles agreed to a deal to send Owens to Philadelphia, which will sign him to a seven-year contract.
The Eagles sent a fifth-round draft pick to Baltimore and defensive end Brandon Whiting to San Francisco. The Ravens get back the second-round pick they sent to the 49ers for Owens.
"If the arbitrator ruled he was a free agent, he could have gone anywhere. This was the Eagles assuring that he came to them," said Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players' Association.
Owens, who spent eight seasons with San Francisco, was supposed to become a free agent March 3. But his agent, David Joseph, failed to file papers voiding the final years of his contract by a Feb. 21 deadline.
The 49ers then dealt the four-time Pro Bowl receiver to the Ravens on March 4, after Owens had agreed to a contract with the Eagles.
that reportedly included a $10 million signing bonus.
Owens protested the trade to the Ravens, refused to show up for a physical and insisted he wanted to play for the Eagles. The union filed a grievance on Owens' behalf to make him a free agent.
Stephen Burbank, the arbitrator for disputes between the NFL and its players' union, heard two hours of arguments from lawyers Monday concerning the case, but didn't issue a ruling because a compromise was reached.
The Ravens said they had hoped to get Owens.
"Our collective mind-set is to improve this team," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We'll keep doing this through the draft, free agency and in other ways. It's a disappointment to not get T.O., but I'm confident in our abilities to raise the Ravens to the next level."
Owens gives the Eagles and quarterback Donovan McNabb the No. 1 receiver the offense has desperately needed. Owens has averaged 93 receptions, 1,316 yards and 13 touchdowns over the past four seasons while feuding with teammates, coaches and the 49ers' front office.
He caught 80 passes for 1,102 yards and nine TDs last season -- his lowest totals since 1999. The Eagles' starting receivers, James Thrash and Todd Pinkston, combined for 85 receptions for 1,133 yards and three TDs.
Owens spent all eight of his NFL seasons with the 49ers, who drafted him in the third round in 1996. He and Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison are the only receivers with more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns over the past four seasons.
The Eagles tried to work out a trade with the 49ers when Owens wasn't declared a free agent. San Francisco general manager Terry Donahue said Philadelphia coach Andy Reid first offered a fifth-round draft pick and Thrash. Donahue said Reid rejected counter offers, so the team traded Owens to Baltimore.
Owens is the second major addition this month for Philadelphia, which went 12-4 last season and lost the NFC Championship game for the third straight year. The Eagles signed three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jevon Kearse to a $66 million, eight-year contract on the first day of the free agency period.
The Eagles have lost five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Troy Vincent (Buffalo), running back Duce Staley (Pittsburgh) and linebacker Carlos Emmons (New York Giants), and stand to lose former Pro Bowl cornerback Bobby Taylor.