They avoided any lengthy holdouts Thursday, agreeing to terms
with both Young and LenDale White a day before the first practice
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
"It was a great deal for us," said Major Adams, the
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
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
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