The duo spent two seasons together with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 and 2005. McNabb posted a career-high 31 touchdown passes with Owens catching 14 during a 2004 season highlighted by a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX. But the relationship reached a breaking point soon after when Owens questioned McNabb's conditioning, saying the quarterback "got tired" during the loss to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Owens told GQ magazine in its February issue that the written apology to McNabb that Owens was supposed to read was scrapped by teammate Jeremiah Trotter.
Trotter denied Owens' version of the story to the magazine. McNabb told ESPN 1000's "Waddle & Silvy Show" that he finally knows why he never got an apology.
"I was a team leader as well," McNabb. "But the whole thing about it is we're grown men. You say what you want to say. If this letter was written for you and you were supposed to say it why are you showing other teammates?"
McNabb said he has moved on from the rift he had with the receiver who helped him to the best season of his career.
"It's sad that his career and everything that he has been able to accomplish from a numbers standpoint over the years that my name always has to be the one that comes up," McNabb said Friday. "It was a remarkable season. It's unfortunate what happened. I've moved on and everything that is talked about in this article of him not apologizing to me, nobody wanted to talk about it while it was happening.
"It's funny that no one talked about it while it was happening but everybody came down on me because they were saying that you should talk to him. Well I talked to him but there's some people who are like talking to pretty much just a wall. You don't get no response. Now I guess I see why there was no apology back to me. Now the world sees it."
Owens, 38, tried unsuccessfully to catch on with an NFL team this season after recovering from knee surgery. He announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he's going to play and become co-owner for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.
The GQ article also describes Owens as lonely and hurting financially. According to the magazine, three of the four women he pays child support to are suing him after he reduced the $44,600 he pays monthly with no NFL job on the horizon and several failed investments.
McNabb knows he will always be linked to Owens.
"Here's a guy who, a future Hall of Famer, had an outstanding career now playing in the Arena League or whatever it may be and then my name still comes up out of his mouth," McNabb said. "We'll forever be linked together somehow. It's unfortunate, but my mama always said if they're talking about you that means they're thinking about you."