Titans trade McNair to Ravens for draft pick

Friday, June 9, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Steve McNair is the new starting quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

McNair passed his physical Thursday and immediately jumped to the top of the depth chart ahead of Kyle Boller. The Ravens called a late afternoon press conference to announce McNair's long-awaited arrival via a trade with the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans swapped the longtime face of their franchise and a fan favorite for what is believed to be a fourth-round pick in next spring's draft.

The former league MVP is expected to upgrade a position that has been filled over the past 10 years by numerous quarterbacks with lesser credentials than McNair, a three-time Pro Bowler.

A strained right pectoral kept McNair out of Tennessee's regular-season finale, and the Titans wanted him to take a new physical before working out with them again.

McNair threw for 3,161 yards and 16 touchdowns with 11 interceptions.

McNair, who turned 33 in February, was Tennessee's winningest quarterback in franchise history. In 11 seasons, he went 81-59 and shared the MVP award with Peyton Manning three years ago.

He's one of only four players in NFL history with 150 touchdowns passing and 35 rushing, trailing only Steve Young, Randall Cunningham and Steve Grogan. He's one of five with 25,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing, a group that includes John Elway, Fran Tarkenton, Young and Randall Cunningham.

The trade resulted from the Titans' inability to reduce McNair's $9 million salary for 2006 and his $23.46 million salary cap hit resulting from reworking his contract repeatedly in recent years.

The quarterback won a grievance last week that allowed him to return to the team's headquarters and work out after being told he couldn't on April 3.

But the Titans had given McNair's agent permission to talk with Baltimore on April 30 about a contract, and Bus Cook worked out a five-year deal with an $11 million signing bonus and $1 million salary for 2006.

That was much more than McNair could get from the Titans, who had drafted quarterback Vince Young of Texas with the third overall pick in April.

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