Titans face March deadline on McNair contract

Updated: February 17, 2006, 5:17 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee general manager Floyd Reese said Friday reworking Steve McNair's contract is going to be a "long, drawn out process."

Tennessee Titans

Att Comp Yds TD Int Rat
476 292 3027 16 11 82.4

"This is not going to happen in the next day or two or week or two. It's going to take time," Reese said. "We'll continue to talk on a daily, weekly basis and see if we can't make progress.'

The Titans face a deadline in March of either paying $50 million to extend the quarterback's contract through 2009 or a $1 million fee that would take his deal through 2006. He is scheduled for $9 million in base salary for 2006.

That leaves the cheapest option paying the $1 million fee and continue talks on a reworked contract, which the $50 million option was designed to force.

"Anything short of paying the $50 million is a possibility," Reese said.

The Titans hold the No. 3 pick overall in the NFL draft, where they would have a chance to draft McNair's successor in either Matt Leinart, Vince Young or Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt.

Reese has said they are budgeted to pay McNair this season.

McNair's agent, Bus Cook, didn't immediately return a message for comment. But he has said McNair isn't interested in taking a pay cut.

Reese talked about McNair at a news conference to announce a four-year deal keeping defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The general manager said he wasn't sure if the Titans would try to sign center Justin Hartwig or safety Tank Williams to keep them off the free-agent market.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press