Minicamp ends and decision pending

Updated: June 24, 2004, 7:20 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans finished their final minicamp Thursday with Eddie George's future with the team still unsettled.

Coach Jeff Fisher is confident the team's career rushing leader will be on the roster when the Titans open training camp July 30.

"I think everyone expects it to be resolved by then," Fisher said.

The Titans have wanted to rework George's contract since February, but he declined and was paid a $1 million bonus in March. He agreed to talk after a meeting in June with Fisher and general manager Floyd Reese.

George is due $4.25 million in base salary this season, counting $7.3 million against the cap. The Titans need at least $3 million in salary cap space to sign their rookie class.

The Titans haven't been in any hurry to finalize details with George because they typically don't start signing their rookies until July. This year's draft class has 13 players.

George said Tuesday that his agent knows what salary he will accept, and he was waiting to hear a proposal from the Titans.

"We have no deadline. We are facing some issues potentially of being able to sign our draft choices and things like that. Both sides are communicating. Eddie left very positive about the situation, and he has confidence that it's going to get worked out."

George was excused for Thursday's session to start his honeymoon, but he quietly attended the team's organized workouts even though he couldn't take part while healing from surgeries on his right knee and left ankle.

Fisher said they expect George to be with the team this year.

If they can't reach an agreement, that might force the Titans to release only the second running back to top 10,000 yards rushing without missing a start. George averaged 3.3 yards per carry in 2003.

His teammates want him back for a ninth season with the franchise. They've already said goodbye to defensive end Jevon Kearse, defensive tackle Robaire Smith and receiver Justin McCareins this offseason because of the lack of money.

"It'd be hard (to lose George)," receiver Derrick Mason said. "You've just got to regroup, refocus and understand this is a business and your time, it's going to come for everybody. It's just an awkward position. Eddie's in the situation now."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press