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Titans Sign Draft Pick Haynesworth

July 30, 2002

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, the Tennessee Titans’ No. 1 draft choice, agreed to a five-year, $8.3 million contract Monday, his agent said.

Titans spokesman Robbie Bohren would not comment on the contract except to say Haynesworth had agreed to terms.

Miracle Mile Sports of Los Angeles, Haynesworth’s agent, said $6 million of the contract is guaranteed. He got a $5.3 million signing bonus, the agency said.

Haynesworth, who played at Tennessee, had missed five days of practice while the contract was worked out.

Haynesworth entered the draft after his junior season and was the 15th overall selection last spring.

Haynesworth, a 6-foot-5, 320-pounder, is projected to play beside defensive end Jevon Kearse. However, he will enter training camp as a backup behind Henry Ford, the first-round draft pick in 1993.

Coach Jeff Fisher had said before the agreement was announced that Haynesworth ``is going to come and join us. No one is going to baby him. He has got to get to work.″

``If he gets in here and we are in shorts, he will be in shorts; if we are in pads, he will be in pads.″

Haynesworth, 21, was the first Titans’ draft pick since Steve McNair in 1995 not signed for the start of training camp.

Titans general manager Floyd Reese said the team sent a letter to Haynesworth’s representatives Monday morning and received a reply late in the afternoon.

``Every time you talk you get closer. That’s part of the process. We’ve all kind of sat back and looked at it, so it was time to either fish or cut bait,″ he said.

The Titans, who have agreed to terms or signed all their rookies, open the season Sept. 8 against Philadelphia.

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