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Titans deny breaching contract with McNair

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 17, 2006) -- The Tennessee Titans deny they breached their contract with Steve McNair by not allowing the quarterback to work out on their property, a union spokesman said.

The Titans defended themselves in a response to a grievance filed on McNair's behalf by the NFL Players Association on April 7. The team counsel had declined to discuss the Titans' answer for why they told McNair on April 3 that they don't want him working out on their property.

"They've actually denied any wrongdoing in not permitting him to work at his place of employment while under contract," said Carl Francis, the NFLPA's director of communications. "At this point, we're moving forward to try to bring some remedy to this."

Francis said general counsel Richard Berthelsen was reviewing the response to determine the union's next step. That could include asking for an expedited hearing before an arbitrator that could be held within 10 days or placing it on a docket that could take up to three or four months.

The Titans generally don't comment on player grievances and refused to talk Monday.

An expedited hearing might help McNair, the co-MVP of 2003 whose $23.46 million salary-cap hit for 2006 is why the Titans asked him not to work out on their property. They fear an injury that would make them liable for the entire amount, which would limit their ability to sign their draft picks.

McNair has been asked to work out someplace else with the team willing to pay him the $110 that players get each day they work out during the Titans' offseason conditioning program.

The Titans have said they want to rework McNair's contract to free up salary cap room. But McNair's agent, Bus Cook, said he hasn't received a new offer since he countered the Titans' first and only proposal.

Cook did not immediately return a message.

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