Titans tell Steve McNair not to work out at their headquarters


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Titans told Steve McNair they don’t want him working out in their building until his contract is reworked, the quarterback’s agent said Tuesday.

McNair was told to go home Monday when he showed up at the team’s headquarters for the start of the third week in the Titans’ offseason conditioning program. The team’s general counsel had called agent Bus Cook earlier Monday and informed him McNair would be told to leave.

A team trainer told the 11-year veteran to leave, Cook said.

“You tell the guy who’s the mainstay of the organization, the leader, to get out, that he’s not wanted, that’s pretty rough,” Cook said. “I don’t know what Steve will do or won’t do. I imagine he would have a hard time going back over there.”

McNair, the NFL’s 2003 co-MVP, is due $9 million in salary in 2006 – but his salary cap number is $23.46 million. The Titans declined last month to pick up a $50 million option to stretch the deal through 2009, leaving McNair with nearly a quarter of their cap space.

“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. “This is entirely a risk management problem.”

Cook said the Titans’ general counsel told him the team doesn’t want McNair working out on team property until his contract is reworked.

General manager Floyd Reese and coach Jeff Fisher were in Los Angeles following a private workout of Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart. The Titans said in a statement that they look forward to McNair returning once his contract is resolved.

“It was unfortunate the way this played out yesterday, but we think both Steve and Bus understand the team’s position,” the Titans said. “Other clubs facing the same dilemma have arrived at the same conclusion we did.”

McNair is the franchise’s winningest quarterback with a record of 81-59. He started 15 games in 2005 and threw for 3,161 yards.

McNair, who turned 33 in February, is one of only five NFL players to throw for 25,000 yards and run for 3,000, along with John Elway, Fran Tarkenton, Steve Young and Randall Cunningham. He has 27,141 yards passing.

The Titans hold the No. 3 pick overall in the draft, the same spot at which they took McNair in 1995. They have been studying top quarterback prospects Leinart, Vince Young of Texas and Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt in recent weeks.

AP-ES-04-04-06 1643EDT