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  • George asks for his release

    Associated Press
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Eddie George insists he isn't being greedy, he just wants to be paid close to what he's worth.

    Tennessee's career leading rusher rejected the team's latest contract offer Monday and asked the Titans to release him so he can land with a new team before training camp.

    "Change may be good," George said Monday night.

    "I hate to sever the ties here. My first and only option was to finish a Tennessee Titan under fair circumstances. Unfortunately, that's not how I perceive it at this point. I look to move forward in a new situation."

    The Titans declined comment Monday night on the running back's request.

    George's agent, Lamont Smith, said team officials told him they wanted to "kick it around" and get back to them.

    But Titans owner Bud Adams said in May he was "pessimistic" about George returning to the team, even as general manager Floyd Reese and coach Jeff Fisher said they were hopeful a deal could be reached.

    George is only the second NFL running back to rush for 10,000 yards while never missing a start, joining Jim Brown. Only Walter Payton (170) and Ricky Watters (114) have started more consecutive regular-season games than George's 128.

    Last December, George became the 17th running back to top 10,000 yards. He has 10,009 yards and 64 touchdowns for the franchise that drafted the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner in 1996. His best season was in 2000, with fullback Lorenzo Neal, when he carried 403 times for 1,509 yards.

    George is under contract through 2006 and was due to make $4.25 million this season. The Titans asked him in February to rework his contract and paid him a $1 million roster bonus in March.

    But the salary cap-strapped Titans, whose woes are only expected to worsen in 2005, need to clear space to sign their 13 draft picks before training camp starts July 31.

    Smith said they gave the Titans a counteroffer two to three months ago that would have shaved $3 million from their salary cap, only to see team officials stick close to a proposal of approximately $1.5 million this season with less money each year through 2006.

    "In essence, the deal we had on the table doesn't assure me of anything but a one-year deal," George said. "I don't plan on retiring after next year."

    The Titans have evolved into an offense that now looks to pass first behind Steve McNair, the NFL's co-MVP last season after leading the league with a quarterback rating of 100.4.

    George has been known throughout his eight seasons for his work ethic, which includes regular yoga sessions to maximize his flexibility. He had one of his best games in a couple seasons last January during a playoff victory over Baltimore when he ran for 88 yards despite dislocating his left shoulder.

    He attended the team's offseason minicamps as he recovered from operations on his right knee and left ankle. But NFL teams start opening camps over the next two weeks.

    George, who turns 31 in September, spoke of Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Dallas as potential options and said he wants to join a team with a chance of winning a Super Bowl.

    "It's just going to be a shock now to see the new faces in the locker room, different city, different circumstances. All that being said, it's also exciting what the uncertainty does bring," he said.

    "It could be a great situation I walk into to help a team win a championship."

    If the Titans release George, it would leave them with second-year rusher Chris Brown, veteran Robert Holcombe and rookies Troy Fleming, Vick King and Jarrett Payton at running back.

    Brown rushed for 221 yards last season, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. George averaged 3.3 yards a carry and had five touchdowns.

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  • Curly Horns
    Titans want George to stay
    by Curly Horns
    By Teresa M. Walker
    The Associated Press

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans finished their final minicamp yesterday with running back Eddie George's future with the team unsettled.

    Coach Jeff Fisher said he 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. George 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 league's salary cap. The Titans need at least $3 million in 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.

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

    George was excused from yesterday'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 operations on his right knee and left ankle.

    Fisher said the Titans expect George to stay with the team.

    If an agreement isn't reached, the Titans might be forced to release the second running back to exceed 10,000 yards rushing without missing a start.

    Teammates say they want George back for a ninth season with the franchise. They already have said goodbye to defensive end Jevon Kearse, defensive tackle Robaire Smith and receiver Justin McCareins this offseason because of financial issues.
    -06-25-2004, 09:34 PM
  • Nick
    Titans "iffy" on George - Nashville City Paper
    by Nick
    Titans 'iffy' on George future
    Commentary by Mark Howard
    June 08, 2004

    Forget the steak knives, coffee maker or the ever-popular place setting. All Eddie George wants for a wedding gift from the Titans is a deal he can live with.

    The franchise’s all time leading rusher will make his first run down the aisle June 20 and before he exchanges vows with his betrothed, George wants to either say I do or I don't on a new contract.

    Last week, the impasse that existed between George and Titans management reached critical mass. Owner Bud Adams, who lacks the shut-up chip in his head, essentially kissed off George, saying he felt No. 27’s days with the Titans were all but over.

    After George and his agent Lamont Smith expressed their requisite public outrage, everybody did what they should have done all along: Shut up and start talking turkey.

    Sure the rumors have been flying about the Ravens, Raiders, and Eagles having some interest if the Titans cut him, but George made it perfectly clear that this isn’t a bidding war. The four-time Pro Bowler has insisted all along he would take the necessary $2 million pay cut if the Titans gave him some reachable incentives. That means not getting his playing time slashed drastically.

    George apparently got that assurance from Jeff Fisher, but not without a big “if.”

    In this pull no punches, brutally honest face-to-face, Fisher told George that even with promising second-year man Chris Brown waiting in the wings, the starting job was still his to lose and he would still do the brunt of the ball carrying, but only if he remains productive.

    One Titan, requesting to remain anonymous, mused, “It will be very interesting to see exactly what ‘if’ means?” After all, what if George still plods along at 3.3 yards per carry and Brown explodes onto the scene as a younger, faster and more explosive version of George? If Eddie gets off to what has become his customary slow start, will Fisher give him the hook?

    There’s a lot at stake this season for George. He’s 991 yards shy of 11,000 for his career, which much like 500 home runs in baseball, means an automatic trip to the Hall of Fame. George has made it clear he’d prefer to do it in Titans colors.

    All you need to know about George is his performance in last January’s Wild Card playoff game at Baltimore. When he had his shoulder popped back into joint on the sidelines of M&T Bank Stadium, it served as the Titans signature moment in their monster win over the hated Ravens.

    Now the bottom line for all of this revolves around Eddie George’s implicit trust of his coach. Fisher has long been known to be a man of his word and George is banking on that. That’s why as he embarks on his honeymoon, George hopes that his professional marriage to the Titans continues to bloom for a ninth year.
    -06-08-2004, 09:55 AM
  • RamWraith
    Young gets huge deal!
    by RamWraith
    Titans agree to deals with top picks Young, White
    Associated Press

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans promised they wanted Vince Young, the third pick overall and the first quarterback taken in the draft, under contract before they opened training camp.

    They avoided any lengthy holdouts Thursday, agreeing to terms with both Young and LenDale White a day before the first practice Friday afternoon.

    Young, the No. 3 overall pick out of Texas, agreed to a five-year deal, with an option for a sixth, with $25.7 million guaranteed and an overall value that could reach $58 million with option and roster bonuses and salary.'s Michael Smith reported the contract includes a $12.3 million option bonus due next March, a $2.365 roster bonus due this year and six years of guaranteed salary totalling $11.075 million, for guaranteed money totalling $25.74 million. There's a one-time bonus of $4.1 million Young can collect should he play in 35 percent of the Titans' snaps this year or 45 percent in any other year.

    That would top the six-year, $54 million deal with $26.5 million guaranteed for the top draft pick, defensive end Mario Williams of Houston.

    "It was a great deal for us," said Major Adams, the quarterback's agent.

    Adams flew into Nashville a week ago and has been negotiating with Reese to have Young under contract before the Titans open training camp on Friday afternoon. The Titans also wanted Young in camp on time to speed his development for a team trying to rebound from a 4-12 record in 2005.

    "We're pleased to finish up these rookie contracts in time for camp," general manager Floyd Reese said.

    "Both sides had one goal, and that was to get him in on time," Adams said. "We accomplished that, and we worked diligently to get him in."

    Adams said Young, who was in Nashville on Thursday, was very excited and will be in Clarksville on Friday.

    Coach Jeff Fisher called the deals good news even though the deals still had to be finalized and signed, which could delay Young's first practice.

    "This is an especially important year for both these players, in addition to all the other draft choices," Fisher said. "They're able to come in at the start of camp and put a full training camp under their belt before the season starts."

    Reese has had all but two of his top draft picks under contract before training camp since the franchise relocated to Tennessee from Houston in 1997. Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, the sixth pick overall in 2005, missed 20 days of training camp before signing his own five-year deal.

    "This ensures that all of our rookies can focus on football and improving each day in practice so they can be in a position to contribute to the team," Reese...
    -07-27-2006, 04:34 PM
  • Nick
    Titans reach multi-year extension with Henry
    by Nick
    Titans reach multi-year extension with Henry

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Running back Travis Henry has agreed with to a multiyear contract extension with the Tennessee Titans after being obtained in a trade with Buffalo.

    Henry will be introduced at a news conference on Wednesday. He was acquired Monday for a third-round draft pick.

    Terms were not immediately available.

    The Titans already had Chris Brown who rushed for 1,067 yards on 220 carries, and his 4.85-yard per carry average in his first season as a starter in 2004. But Brown missed five games because of injuries.

    Henry, a starter since his rookie season, had consecutive 1,300-yard rushing seasons before being relegated to a backup role last October behind Willis McGahee.

    "The combination of Chris Brown and Travis Henry puts us in elite company in terms of talented backfields," Titans general manager Floyd Reese said. "I don't know that it will matter who starts, because I envision both players making significant contributions throughout the season."

    Henry is the University of Tennessee's all-time leading rusher with 3,078 yards.
    -07-21-2005, 12:25 AM
  • RamWraith
    Tennessee RBs present tough test for Rams
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas

    Gone are the days when Eddie George would get the football 30 times a game, wear down a defense with his sledge-hammer running style, and move the chains all day long.

    But make no mistake, Tennessee still loves to pound the football. Even with a new offensive coordinator in Norm Chow. Even with a new tandem of running backs in Chris Brown and Travis Henry. It is who the Titans are under coach Jeff Fisher.

    "First and foremost, they're a running team," Rams coach Mike Martz said.

    A physical, power-running team.

    "When you look at their offense, that's what they're built for," Rams linebacker Dexter Coakley said. "They pride themselves on being a physical team, even back to the days that Eddie George was there. They still have that attitude, and you can see it on tape."

    The Titans have had a 1,000-yard runner in eight of the past nine seasons. George, now out of the NFL, did it from 1996 through 2000, as well as in the '02 and '03 seasons. Brown, who replaced George as the Titans' feature back a year ago, went for 1,067 yards in '04.

    Sometimes, the overall numbers weren't all that gaudy. For example, the Titans never finished higher than seventh in the NFL in rushing offense between '99 and '04. But it's what they did with those rushing yards.

    Since the start of Tennessee's '99 Super Bowl season, the Titans have won the time of possession battle 70.4 percent of the time (in 69 of 98 regular-season games). And in those 69 games where they controlled the clock, the Titans have a 50-19 record. In contrast, they are 13-16 when they don't have the time of possession edge.

    That remains the victory formula for Tennessee, even with Chow's emphasis on a quick-tempo, short-passing game. After relying so heavily on George all those years, the Titans traded for Henry to give them a "co-starter" in the backfield with Brown. But the Titans have yet to see their two-headed running game take off, averaging only 97 yards a game so far this season.

    "It's not where we want it to be right now," Fisher said. "We're going to take some of the blame for that over the last couple weeks. But I also have to give some credit to the Pittsburgh and Baltimore defenses. We played two pretty tough defenses here in the first two weeks."

    The Titans had to junk their running game in the season opener against Pittsburgh after falling behind 27-7 early in the third quarter.

    Last week against Baltimore, Brown suffered what was described as a mild concussion on Tennessee's first offensive play and missed much of the game. (He practiced Wednesday, and although listed as questionable, is expected to play Sunday in St. Louis.)

    So the Rams game may provide the first opportunity for...
    -09-23-2005, 04:21 AM