Why the Titans froze out McNair; Draft buzz abounds
Posted: Tuesday April 18, 2006 11:59AM; Updated: Tuesday April 18, 2006 11:59AM
Steve McNair has been denied access to the Titans' practice facility.
Peter King will answer your questions each week in Monday Morning Quarterback: Tuesday Edition.
There's been a lot of righteous outrage over the last couple of weeks in your e-mails about Steve McNair and his situation with the Titans. I understand why. But I think there's a part of this that people who like McNair and don't want to see players wrong don't understand. On with your e-mails.
WHERE'S THE LOYALTY? From Mary of Boston: "Just have to know: What is up with the Titans and their treatment of Steve McNair? I just don't understand it. The man has been a good soldier for the Oilers/Titans, he's played injured and he's been an amazing leader. It would seem to make sense that they play him one more year, draft a QB of the future and let the kid learn from McNair. Why did they ban him from using their facilities to work out? He's under contract with them and he wants to work out, something teams want their players doing. Can't help but think that the damage to the relationship is done now. Do you think he'll be back?"
I think Tennessee should have made the break with McNair cleanly at the end of last season, because I don't think they can count on him to stay healthy for any extended period of time. The Titans got in this mess for two reasons: a bloated contract and poor communications between the team and the player. McNair and agent Bus Cook always understood that for McNair to stay in Tennessee in 2006, he was going to have to agree to major salary surgery. He's owed $23 million this year, and clearly there's no way he's going to make it. But negotiations dragged on to the point where the Titans feared that if McNair got hurt while working out in their offseason program in Nashville, the team would be liable for the entire $23 million. Because they couldn't agree on a redone contract, the Titans told him not to work out at the facility.
What should have happened, instead of McNair's getting turned away at the door when he showed up to work out a couple of weeks ago, is that Jeff Fisher should have been apprised of the seriousness of the situation. The coach should have told McNair that until the contract got resolved, for legal reasons McNair wouldn't be able to work out at team facilities. There's no way that such a clumsy thing as your starting QB getting turned away should have happened. As for whether he stays this year? I doubt it. I think he'll probably end up in Baltimore, beating out Kyle Boller for one or possibly two seasons.
BURNING BUSH RUMORS. From Dan of New York: "What's with all the rumors that the Texans are losing interest in Reggie Bush? I thought he was the guaranteed No. 1 pick."
I am in Houston today, so I'll find that out more clearly over the next couple of days. But I don't think the Texans are going to pass on Bush. He's the best pure talent in this draft, and the Houston offense desperately needs a home run hitter. Read what I wrote yesterday about the NFL draft annual smokescreens, and you'll probably understand why there's some hocus pocus out there right now about Bush not being the top pick.