RB attends minicamp workouts

Updated: June 15, 2004, 8:15 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Eddie George is still under contract with the Tennessee Titans, so he plans to keep showing up for work.

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.

Eddie George
Running Back
Tennessee Titans
Profile
2003 SEASON STATISTICS
Rush Yds TD Rec Yds TD
312 1031 5 22 163 0

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.

Every retired running back to reach that mark is in the Hall of Fame. Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin have topped 11,000 yards and are still playing.

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 future.

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 strange."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press