McNair's health in question

OWINGS MILLS -- The Steve McNair saga took another twist Monday with the revelation that the veteran quarterback failed his exit physical following a season where he was bothered by back, chest and ankle injuries.

This development means that McNair would need to take and pass a physical before returning to the Tennessee Titans' headquarters for workouts, which likely further delays him from being able to join the Baltimore Ravens via trade or release. The physical isn't likely to transpire until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest, according to Titans team officials.

Since the Ravens and Titans have been unable to agree on trade compensation as Baltimore begins a mandatory full-team minicamp today, it appears highly unlikely that McNair will be free to change teams anytime soon. Plus, executing a trade and/or signing McNair to a contract if he's released would be contingent on him passing a physical.

It seems more probable that McNair could remain with the Titans until late July when they will need to clear salary-cap space to sign a rookie draft class that includes Texas quarterback Vince Young.

McNair won a grievance against the Titans last week with NFL arbitrator John Feerick ruling that the 2003 NFL Co-Most Valuable Player shouldn't have been banned from the Titans' Baptist Sports Park training complex.

The Titans have cited liability concerns regarding McNair's $23.46 million salary-cap figure that includes a $9 million base salary for this season.

During the NFL draft, the Titans authorized the Ravens to negotiate with McNair and they struck a five-year deal with an $11 million signing bonus and a $1 million base salary for 2006.

The Titans' attempts to restructure McNair's contract have been at an impasse for months with the team offering him a $3 million signing bonus and a $2.5 million base salary for 2006 in January.

Tennessee general manager Floyd Reese has said he hopes to try to convince McNair to accept a restructured deal, but hasn't reached out recently to agent Bus Cook. Reese reportedly hasn't spoken to the Ravens in a week and didn't expect to speak to contact them within the next few days.

The Ravens conclude their minicamp schedule on June 15, and the Titans resume organized workouts on June 13. The Ravens report to training camp in Westminster on July 30, and the Titans are set to report on July 28. It remains unclear if the McNair drama will drag out for the majority of the summer.

"Would you want to return to work if your boss told you weren't welcome? I don't know," Cook told ESPN. "I wouldn't if my boss told me I wasn't welcome. I don't think I'd want to return to work. On the other hand, he's under contract, and he's obligated to do what he has to do by virtue of the contract."

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

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