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Titans set up battle with union
By Wire services
Published April 18, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Titans deny they breached their contract with Steve McNair by not allowing the quarterback to work out on their property, a union spokesman said Monday.
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 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. "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.
An expedited hearing might help McNair, the 2003 co-MVP whose $23.46-million salary cap hit for 2006 is why the Titans asked him not to work out on their property.
NINERS FILL FRONT OFFICE JOB: San Francisco finally added an experienced football executive to its front office, hiring Lal Heneghan as executive vice president of football operations.
Heneghan, a lawyer who played tight end at Penn, was the Browns' VP of football operations and chief contract negotiator from 1998 until 2004, when he left the losing club in a front-office shakeup. He had been a private consultant since.
Before joining Cleveland, Heneghan spent seven years working for the NFL. He eventually became league director of labor relations, supervising planning around the salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement.
San Francisco owner John York has been under public pressure to hire an experienced executive after turning over football operations last year to coach Mike Nolan, a longtime assistant who had never made personnel decisions or negotiated contracts.
The 49ers also signed linebacker T.J. Slaughter, who is joining his fifth team in five seasons.
BILLS: Backup cornerback Kevin Thomas was released. Buffalo's sixth-round pick in the 2002 draft out of UNLV missed last season with a knee injury.
CHARGERS: Safety Andre Lott, a four-year veteran, signed a two-year contract.