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Titans face March deadline on McNair contract

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

"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.