George not as positive about contract
By JIM WYATT
With a little more than two weeks until training camp begins, Eddie George and the Titans remain in a stalemate over money.
George met with Titans General Manager Floyd Reese yesterday to discuss the veteran running back's unresolved contract situation. George's agent, Lamont Smith, said he believes there will be a resolution soon.
''I think it will come to a head one way or another in the next couple of days,'' Smith said. ''The question will be whether we can find common ground or it's time to part ways.''
George's face-to-face meeting with Reese yesterday was their first since June 3, when playing time was the topic. George said he came away from that meeting satisfied with what he heard.
George wasn't nearly as positive after yesterday's discussion with Reese, and money remains the ro .
The Titans, who paid George a $1 million roster bonus in March, have asked him to trim his scheduled base salary of $4.25 million for 2004 to around $1.5 million, and they haven't budged much. So far, the Titans also haven't been willing to give George any assurances past the 2004 season. George currently remains under contract through the 2006 season.
If George doesn't agree to a restructured contract, the Titans will release him.
Reese said the Titans want to keep George, who has spent all eight NFL seasons with the franchise and has 10,009 rushing yards.
''We've said from the very beginning the sooner the better, but we have certainly blown that,'' Reese said. ''It is the same thing, we are just plugging along, taking it little by little. We are certainly not breaking any land speed records. ...
''I think everybody wants to resolve it one way or the other. Poor Eddie has been in limbo here for however long and I'm sure he is getting fed up with it. One way or another a decision is going to have to made here in the next couple of weeks.''
For George to rejoin the Titans this season, Smith said: ''There has to be compromise on both sides.''
George has said he'd like to remain a Titan, but only for what he considers a fair deal. Asked if George will return for a $1.5 million base salary, Smith said, ''I'm not going to answer that. I think that we'll know in the next couple of days. That's the best I can tell you.''
Reese has also been in negotiations with many of the team's 13 draft picks. He'd like to have them all signed up by July 31, when the Titans take the field for their first training camp practice.
The Titans have enough salary cap room to sign most of the lower-round picks, but need to resolve the George matter in order to sign the higher-round picks.
Free agent signings: The Titans have signed former Michigan State defensive end Ivory McCoy and former Colorado linebacker Drew Wahlroos to free agent contracts. Both played in NFL Europe this season.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound McCoy was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2002 and spent part of that season on their practice squad. The Eagles released him at the end of training camp last year.
The 6-2, 235-pound Wahlroos was also released by the Eagles last year at the end of training camp.
McCoy and Wahlroos are scheduled to make $230,000 each this season with the Titans if they make the roster.
Jim Wyatt covers the Titans for The Tennessean. He can be reached at 259-8015 or email@example.com