Owens a surprise workout attendee

Three weeks ago, receiver Terrell Owens stated he had no intention of attending any Buffalo Bills workouts unless they were mandatory.

So much for that.

Owens showed up on Wednesday at the team's Orchard Park, N.Y., facility to participate in the voluntary offseason conditioning program. His arrival surprised even some of his closest associates.

Three days after the Dallas Cowboys cut Owens, the future Hall of Famer signed a one-year contract for $6.5 million guaranteed.

But when most of the Bills gathered for the offseason conditioning program, the team's first workouts after Owens joined the team, he was absent.

"I talked to coach [Dick] Jauron prior to the start of the workouts about that," Owens told USA Today on March 25 in Washington D.C., where he was honored for his charity work at an Alzheimer's Association gala. "Right now if there's nothing mandatory that I have to be a part of, then I won't intend to be there."

Even though Owens is entering his 14th pro season, pundits and fans were disappointed with his decision. Players who switch teams or are playing under new coaches generally make it a point to attend voluntary workouts for the sake of team chemistry.

The Bills also have a young quarterback, third-year pro Trent Edwards, who could benefit from having Owens around.

Tim Graham covers the NFL for ESPN.com.