Agent: Titans want McNair's contract status resolved
McNair was told by a team trainer that he would not be allowed to work out until his contract situation is resolved, according to James "Bus" Cook, who represents McNair.
"Steve was told that until he got his contract straightened out, he wasn't welcome at the facility," said Cook. "Heck, he's got his contract already straightened out and now he's trying to fulfill it by reporting for the offseason."
Cook said there had been no warning of the team's position. Titans sources said it was a decision was made by owner Bud Adams, who apparently fears that an offseason injury would make him liable for McNair's current contract.
"We have no choice but to protect the club and its future from the possibility of having a significant amount of our salary cap at risk in a single player should he sustain a major injury," the team said in a statement Tuesday. "This is entirely a risk management problem."
Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who was in Los Angeles observing USC quarterback Matt Leinart in a private workout Monday, declined to elaborate but said, "Things got blown out of proportion. ... We'll get it straightened out."
McNair is scheduled to make $10 million in 2006, including a $1 million team penalty because the Titans declined to exercise a three-year option. His salary cap charge is almost $24 million, and the team is trying to get McNair to restructure his deal. It has been speculated that the team could release the quarterback if there is not a new contract in place in the near future.
"The reason his cap number is $24 million is because they kept asking him to restructure every year to create space," Cook said. "This guy has done everything for the team, and he has two or three really good years left. Now, they treat him like this."
ESPN's Chris Mortensen is a regular contributor to Insider. He chats every Wednesday in The Show. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.