McNair takes the high road

OWINGS MILLS -- Steve McNair declined to gloat over his arbitration victory over the Tennessee Titans, and the former Pro Bowl quarterback declined to reveal his next move. Although McNair broke his media silence Thursday, he didn't want to discuss his uncertain future or potential impending exit from the Titans' roster.

He went out of his way to not specifically mention the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have agreed to the framework of a five-year deal with McNair who remains under contract with the Titans.

"Due to the circumstances of the things going on with the Titans and myself, I'm not able to speak upon the arbitration ruling," McNair told reporters at his sixth annual football camp at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, Tenn. "In due time, I will."

In due time, albeit an undetermined period, McNair could be wearing a Ravens uniform. How soon that might occur will depend on whether the Titans decide to trade or release him to shed his $23.46 million salary-cap figure and $9 million base salary for 2006.

There was no apparent movement on that front Thursday as trade negotiations that stalled during the draft haven't been revisited yet.

"Steve McNair's still a Tennessee Titan," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a telephone interview Thursday night. "Nothing has changed. There's nothing new."

Newsome declined to elaborate on his conversations with Titans general manager Floyd Reese, who's expected to talk with McNair's agent, Bus Cook, within the next few days. Efforts to restructure McNair's contract haven't gone anywhere.

During the NFL draft, the Titans authorized Cook to negotiate with Baltimore and he struck a deal that includes an $11 million signing bonus and a $1 million base salary in 2006.

If McNair joins the Ravens, he's expected to supplant incumbent starter Kyle Boller.

McNair, who finished 18th in the NFL last season with an 82.4 passer rating as Tennessee went 4-12 with the league's youngest team, answered a question about his conditioning with a question.

"Do I look in shape?" the 33-year-old retorted lightly, adding that he's been working out everyday.

McNair didn't indicate whether he will report to Baptist Sports Park -- the Titans' Nashville training complex -- on Monday for voluntary workouts. The 2003 NFL Co-Most Valuabel Player won the right to work out at the Titans' facility after being barred April 3, but NFL arbitrator John Feerick turned down the NFL Players Association's request that McNair be released and paid damages.

McNair said he didn't anticipate sharing his opinions on his high-profile dispute with the campers.
"It's not going to be a question-and-answer thing," McNair said.

If nothing happens today or over the weekend, Monday could be a key date in the McNair saga.

If McNair chooses to report and begins lifting heavy weights or throwing the football, then the Titans are likely to be concerned about him getting injured and them being liable financially for his hefty contract. It remains unclear if that fear will ultimately be an impetus for a potential trade with Baltimore or McNair's release.

NOTE: The Maryland High School Football Coaches Association will hold its National Athletic Testing System combine on Sunday at the Ravens' training complex. Players graduating in classes 2007 to 2001 can register at


Aaron Wilson writes for Ravens Insider and the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original on RavensInsider.Com

Ravens Insider Top Stories