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Tuesday, August 28
 
Titans fine Rolle $5,000 per missed practice

Associated Press

Samari Rolle
Rolle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- All-Pro cornerback Samari Rolle left the Tennessee Titans because of a contract dispute and flew to Denver to meet with his agents.

He did not inform the Titans and failed to attend a team meeting Tuesday.

"He's officially a no-show," team spokesman Robbie Bohren said.

Rolle was flying to Denver and could not be reached. Agent Peter Shaffer said they had not received the Titans' latest offer as of Tuesday afternoon. A long-term deal remains the priority for Rolle.

"If it's not the right contract, he's got options," Shaffer said. "That's the beauty of free agency."

The Titans meanwhile, announced that Rolle was being fined $5,000 for each missed practice -- the most he can be fined. He could be put on the "reserve-left camp" list after five missed practices.

Rolle signed a one-year offer for $1.488 million to report for camp last month with the promise that it would be replaced by a long-term contract.

Camp ended last week and the regular season begins Sept. 9 at home against Miami. The Titans' final exhibition is Thursday night at Detroit.

"Everyone knows it's a business," Rolle said Monday. "I have to do what I have to do. Everybody else has. Coach (Jeff) Fisher last year when he gave a deadline for his deal to get done, it got done and everybody understood that. So I'm sure everybody knows where I'm coming from."

Rolle is the only unsigned key player the Titans wanted to tie up in a long-term contract this off-season. They signed receiver Derrick Mason to a five-year, $19 million package in March, and quarterback Steve McNair got a six-year, $47 million contract in June.

"There's nothing good that comes from it for either party," general manager Floyd Reuse said. "He came here in good faith. I think he'll continue to be here in good faith. Our objective is to get ready for the season. Our objective from the beginning was to get a deal done, and it's still the same objective."

Rolle led the team in interceptions the past two seasons and earned his first All-Pro honors in 2000 when he was tied for the AFC lead in interceptions with seven.

Smith, also agent to Titans running back Eddie George and Mason, said Monday night the dispute was weighing on his client.

"He said he's at risk of injury, and it's affecting his play on the field," Smith said.

Rolle practiced Monday wearing a No. 1 jersey in place of his No. 21, which safety Blaine Bishop wore. Bishop is the last franchise player to hold out for a new contract when he missed all of training camp in 1997 before signing.

"I don't want everybody to view me as another brat complaining about not making enough money. My whole thing is I was told one thing, and I came to camp on time like I was supposed to," Rolle said.

"We're not going to get anything done, fine tell me that. We'll drop the issue, and I'll play this year out."




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