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Owens and agent visit Shanahan, Broncos

Terrell Owens and his agent visited Denver yesterday, talking with coach Mike Shanahan to see if he might be a fit with the Broncos.

Owens is under contract with Philadelphia, but the Eagles have given him permission to seek a trade.

Denver is a suitor, and a person familiar with the negotiations, who spoke on condition he not be identified because there was no deal, said the volatile receiver had a good meeting with Shanahan.

Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were shown by KCNC-TV at the Denver airport on their way out of town last night.

Heimerdinger hired

The Broncos were busy yesterday, also hiring Mike Heimerdinger to replace Gary Kubiak on their coaching staff.

Shanahan hired Heimerdinger as assistant head coach and promoted offensive line coach Rick Dennison to offensive coordinator. The moves come after Kubiak was hired last week as coach of the Houston Texans.

Heimerdinger, who coached the Broncos' wide receivers in 1995-99, spent last season as offensive coordinator with the New York Jets, and before that held the same post with the Tennessee Titans from 2000-04.

Heimerdinger was a candidate for the Jets head coaching job that went to former Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini, and after initial attempts by Mangini to retain him, they agreed there should be a parting of ways.

The Jets late last night confirmed that they reached a deal to replace Heimerdinger with Chargers quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer, son of San Diego coach Marty Schottenheimer.

Favre speaks

If Brett Favre had to decide on his future today, he says he'd likely retire.

But his interview, aired Sunday on ESPN, didn't set off any alarm bells for new Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

''Well, he doesn't have to make a decision today," McCarthy said yesterday.

McCarthy says Favre's comments, the quarterback's first since the end of his only losing season with the Packers, are a natural reaction for a veteran player coming off a frustrating year.

Favre, 36, told ESPN he hasn't reached a decision on retirement, but added, ''If I had to pick right now and make a decision, I would say I'm not coming back."

Cowboys nab Palmer

The Dallas Cowboys hired Chris Palmer as quarterbacks coach, reuniting him with coach Bill Parcells, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, and receiver Terry Glenn from their days in New England. Palmer worked for Parcells on the Patriots from 1993-96. He was the receivers coach the first three seasons, then took over the quarterbacks in 1996, helping the club reach the Super Bowl. Palmer fills the vacancy created when passing game coordinator Sean Payton left to become head coach in New Orleans. Payton called the plays for Dallas last season, but Parcells likely will resume that duty . . . The Buffalo Bills fired defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche. Gray already has accepted a job with Washington to be the Redskins defensive backs coach, replacing DeWayne Walker, who left to become defensive coordinator at UCLA. The move reunites Gray with former Buffalo coach Gregg Williams, who guides the Washington defense . . . The Tennessee Titans have made an early offer to rework Steve McNair's contract and are waiting for a counterproposal from the quarterback and his agent.

Henry arrested

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry was arrested in Orlando, Fla., on gun charges in a weekend street altercation, authorities said. Henry pulled a 9 mm pistol on a group of revelers early Saturday, according to a police report. Henry was charged with felony counts of possession of a concealed firearm, improper exhibition of a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm. He posted $3,000 bail and was released later that night, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Henry was charged with marijuana possession after a traffic stop Dec. 15 in Covington, Ky. That charge is pending . . . According to a report in the New York Post, with veteran announcer Al Michaels's future on ''Monday Night Football" suddenly in doubt, ESPN is considering putting talk show host/columnist Tony Kornheiser on its broadcast next year. If the network allows Michaels out of his eight-year, $32 million contract (speculation is he wants to go to NBC to again join John Madden), the new team would be led by Mike Tirico, and also include Joe Theismann and Kornheiser.

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