Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Titans Without McNair? I Don't Want To Think About It.

Not a good week last week for Titans fans.

Updated: April 4, 2006, 4:51 PM ET
Titans tell Steve McNair not to work out at their headquarters
Associated Press
National Football League News Wire

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans told Steve McNair they don't want him working out in their building until his contract is reworked, the quarterback's agent said Tuesday.

McNair was told to go home Monday when he showed up at the team's headquarters for the start of the third week in the Titans' offseason conditioning program. The team's general counsel had called agent Bus Cook earlier Monday and informed him McNair would be told to leave.

A team trainer told the 11-year veteran to leave, Cook said.

"You tell the guy who's the mainstay of the organization, the leader, to get out, that he's not wanted, that's pretty rough," Cook said. "I don't know what Steve will do or won't do. I imagine he would have a hard time going back over there."

McNair, the NFL's 2003 co-MVP, is due $9 million in salary in 2006 - but his salary cap number is $23.46 million. The Titans declined last month to pick up a $50 million option to stretch the deal through 2009, leaving McNair with nearly a quarter of their cap space.

"We have no choice but to protect the club and its future from the possibility of having a significant amount of our salary cap at risk in a single player should he sustain a major injury," the team said in a statement. "This is entirely a risk management problem."

Cook said the Titans' general counsel told him the team doesn't want McNair working out on team property until his contract is reworked.

General manager Floyd Reese and coach Jeff Fisher were in Los Angeles following a private workout of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. The Titans said in a statement that they look forward to McNair returning once his contract is resolved.

Now I realize that from a business standpoint, the Titans were forced to keep McNair out of the facilities in case he injured himself while on the premises which would have forced the team to pay McNair's full contract whether he played or not. But I think it's safe to say that this could have been handled better. And if the Titans want to compete for a playoff spot this year, they need Big Mac behind center. People may think it's crazy to talk playoffs for this coming year, but let me remind you that THE BENGALS were in the playoffs last year.

McNair will need to be resigned, and the negotiations will be most difficult, but I don't see why the Titans would sign quality veteran free agents such as fomer defensive captain for Indianapolis David Thornton or Pittsburgh safety Chris Hope and expect to not play for a title this year. We need McNair back.

I want to see McNair raise a trophy besides this one before he hangs it up.

We Titans fans have been spolied with Big Mac for the last 11 years, he deserves to be treated like the warrior he is. Pay the man what he deserves.

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