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|07-27-2006, 11:01 PM||#1|
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Young and Titans Agree on Deal
Titans agree to deals with top picks Young, WhiteESPN.com news services
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans promised they wanted Vince Young, the third pick overall and the first quarterback taken in the draft, under contract before they opened training camp.
They avoided any lengthy holdouts Thursday, agreeing to terms with both Young and LenDale White a day before the first practice Friday afternoon.
Young, the No. 3 overall pick out of Texas, agreed to a five-year deal, with an option for a sixth, with $25.7 million guaranteed and an overall value that could reach $58 million with option and roster bonuses and salary.
The contract includes a $12.3 million option bonus due next March, a $2.365 roster bonus due this year and six years of guaranteed salary totalling $11.075 million, for guaranteed money totalling $25.74 million, ESPN.com's Michael Smith reports. There's a one-time bonus of $4.1 million Young can collect should he play in 35 percent of the Titans' snaps this year or 45 percent in any other year.
That would top the six-year, $54 million deal with $26.5 million guaranteed for the top draft pick, defensive end Mario Williams of Houston.
"It was a great deal for us," said Major Adams, the quarterback's agent.
Adams flew into Nashville a week ago and has been negotiating with Reese to have Young under contract before the Titans open training camp on Friday afternoon. The Titans also wanted Young in camp on time to speed his development for a team trying to rebound from a 4-12 record in 2005.
"We're pleased to finish up these rookie contracts in time for camp," general manager Floyd Reese said.
"Both sides had one goal, and that was to get him in on time," Adams said. "We accomplished that, and we worked diligently to get him in."
Adams said Young, who was in Nashville on Thursday, was very excited and will be in Clarksville on Friday.
Coach Jeff Fisher called the deals good news even though the deals still had to be finalized and signed, which could delay Young's first practice.
"This is an especially important year for both these players, in addition to all the other draft choices," Fisher said. "They're able to come in at the start of camp and put a full training camp under their belt before the season starts."
Reese has had all but two of his top draft picks under contract before training camp since the franchise relocated to Tennessee from Houston in 1997. Cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, the sixth pick overall in 2005, missed 20 days of training camp before signing his own five-year deal.
"This ensures that all of our rookies can focus on football and improving each day in practice so they can be in a position to contribute to the team," Reese said in a statement.
Young won't come into training camp as the starter. That job, for now, belongs to six-year veteran Billy Volek.
But the Titans used their highest draft pick since taking Steve McNair in the same spot in 1995 looking for another franchise quarterback. They gambled on the athletic ability and promise shown by the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Young and drafted him over Matt Leinart of Southern California and Jay Cutler of Vanderbilt.
"Every practice is important," Fisher said. "Every session is important. Training camp goes beyond practice. It's meetings, walk-throughs, all those kinds of things. Every day is important, especially as it relates to a young quarterback."
Young led the Texas Longhorns to a 30-2 record in three seasons, including the national title last January in the Rose Bowl. Young completed 61.8 percent of his passes and also had 43 career runs of 20 yards or longer, including seven of 51 yards or longer.
He totaled 9,167 yards offense at Texas, a school record. He also was second in the Heisman Trophy voting last year and won the Davey O'Brien award as the top quarterback.
White, the former Southern California running back, lost that Rose Bowl to Young and also came out after his junior season. But it was a right hamstring injury that kept him from running for teams before the draft that dropped him from a possible top 15 pick to the second round where Tennessee took him with the 45th pick overall.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound running back will find himself behind starter Chris Brown and veteran Travis Henry. But White has shown both power with 52 rushing touchdowns and dependability with only four fumbles in his last 541 carries.
He averaged 6.6 yards per carry and led the nation in scoring with 156 points in 2005.
The Titans also agreed to terms with fifth-round pick Terna Nande. The linebacker from Miami of Ohio agreed to terms on a three-year contract.
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