George, recovering from operations on his left ankle and right
knee, arrived Tuesday for the first of six final minicamp workouts
that conclude June 24.
He is waiting for a revised contract nearly two weeks after
agreeing to cut his base pay for the upcoming season. He hoped for
a new deal before getting married next Sunday to Tamara Johnson of
the singing group Sisters with Voices, but said Tuesday he doesn't
expect that to happen.
"Quite honestly, I'm not going to worry myself about it. I'm
more or less concerned about how I'm going to look coming down the aisle," George said.
The Titans want George to cut his base salary for the 2004
season from $4.25 million to approximately $1.5 million to clear
space to sign their rookie class starting in July.
George, who joined Jim Brown last season as the only running backs in NFL history to rush for at least 10,000 yards without missing a game, is 991 yards short of 11,000 for his career.
George and his agent declined to discuss reworking his contract in February, so the Titans paid him a $1 million roster bonus in March.
Titans owner Bud Adams said in May that he doubted George would be back with the team. Agent Lamont Smith responded that Adams' comment probably meant the running back's career was over in Tennessee.
George said he cleared the air in what he called a "come to
Jesus" meeting earlier this month with coach Jeff Fisher and
general manager Floyd Reese, and got "on the same page" about his
Since then, Reese and George's agent have been trying to work
out an incentive-filled deal that would help the running back earn
some of the money the Titans want him to give up.
Reese currently is on vacation, and Smith has not returned
repeated messages left by The Associated Press over the past week.
"Pretty much we just have to wait and see how it looks down on paper," George said.
No deadline has been set by either side, but the Titans have
said they need cap space by the beginning of July when they
traditionally begin signing their rookies.
"All I can say is that we're moving in a positive direction
right now," George said.
George is taking antibiotics for swelling in his knee. Fisher
said that likely will keep the running back from on-field work, but
George is planning to return to Nashville for workouts June
22 to 23 before leaving on his honeymoon.
Fisher said everyone is optimistic a new deal will be reached,
keeping the franchise's all-time leading rusher with the team.
"The team is pushing on, and they expect him to come back. We don't dwell on the negatives around here, we always look at the
positive," Fisher said.
Steve McNair, who took part in his first full practice since
having a bone spur removed from his left ankle in February, said
he's much more optimistic now than in recent weeks.
"But I always believed Eddie would be a Titan. Eddie (has) done a lot for this organization and this team," McNair said. "To have
a different running back other than Eddie George would be