"I feel that if he plays or not, we definitely have a chance of making it to the Super Bowl and winning it," McNabb said Wednesday, one day after owner Jeffery Lurie said the team won't redo Owens' contract. "That's nothing against T.O. and it's nothing against anybody else. I just feel confident in the guys
that we have. With T.O., I think we can do a lot of great things. Without him, I still think we can do a lot of good things."
Owens, the All-Pro wide receiver who helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl last season, skipped a mandatory minicamp last month because he wants to renegotiate the seven-year deal worth almost $49 million he signed in March 2004.
Owens' new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment Wednesday. Rosenhaus also refused to say whether Owens plans to hold out of
training camp, which starts in late July.
In his first season in Philadelphia after eight years with the San Francisco 49ers, the flashy Owens set team records with 14 touchdown receptions and seven 100-yard games, and finished with 77 catches for 1,200 yards.
He broke his leg and severely sprained his right ankle in Week 15 against Dallas, an injury that sidelined him until the Super Bowl. Owens had nine catches for 122 yards after defying his doctor's advice and playing in the Eagles' 24-21 loss to New England.
McNabb, who lobbied hard for the Eagles to acquire Owens, had his best season last year, throwing for 3,875 yards and 31 TDs while earning his fifth consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl.
"It was something that we all felt we could have benefited from; having a guy like T.O. over here to do a great job for us," said McNabb, who spoke to reporters after shooting a television commercial. "I think it will continue on. The sky is the limit of
how far we can really go with having a guy like T.O., not only for
me, but for this team. It's exciting to know what we're capable of
doing when we're out on that field."
McNabb said he expects Owens to play for the Eagles this year.
"He has a contract," McNabb said. "There is desire to have more money and there is the desire to lose money. That would at least give you the motivation to get back out there on that field.
"When you sign your name on the dotted line, that's your deal,
and that's a decision you have to make."
McNabb said his relationship with Owens isn't strained, though the teammates took verbal shots at each other in the offseason.
"I wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl," Owens told ESPN.com, a thinly veiled reference to the fact some Eagles players
said McNabb was so ill in the fourth quarter against the Patriots
that he couldn't call one play in the huddle.
McNabb has denied he was sick or tired in the game, and responded sternly to Owens' comments on the first day of minicamp.
"Just keep my name out of your mouth," McNabb said. "Don't try to throw names or guys under the bus to better yourself. You never heard me say any names in any situation. You never heard me talk about any given players. I'm the guy to be professional and be a man about things."