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Bob_R
03-06-2004, 01:27 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=1752495


Saturday, March 6, 2004


ESPN.com news services
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans decided they couldn't keep seven receivers for a second straight season, so they traded wide receiver Justin McCareins to the New York Jets on Friday for a second-round draft pick.


"Terrell Owens was traded yesterday for the 51st pick and today Justin McCareins was traded for the 42nd pick," Titans general manager Floyd Reese said. "We have to feel pretty good about that."


McCareins, a restricted free agent, received a tender offer from the Titans high enough that any team who wanted to sign him would have to surrender a first-round draft pick.


Reese said two teams showed interest, but no one would give up a first-round pick. So McCareins signed his $1.36 million tender offer, and the Titans traded him.


His agent Cliff Brady said he has already worked out a seven-year contract with the Jets that McCareins will sign once he passes his physical. Further terms were not available.


McCareins said he enjoyed catching passes from co-MVP Steve McNair, but that he was excited by the new opportunities in New York.


"It's exciting to start out playing under Steve and now to move on to Chad Pennington? You can't ask for much more from quarterbacks," McCareins said.


A fourth-round pick in 2001 out of Northern Illinois, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound McCareins was the Titans' second-leading receiver last season with 47 catches for 813 yards and seven touchdowns, including a 49-yard scoring reception against New York in December.


McCareins became expendable when the Titans reached a three-year deal with receiver Drew Bennett last week. Tennessee also has Pro Bowler Derrick Mason and 6-foot-4 Tyrone Calico.


"He has to step up and be a player," Reese said of Calico, a second-round pick last year from Middle Tennessee State.


The Titans also have Eddie Berlin, Jake Schifino and Darrell Hill.


"We carried seven receivers this year, probably weren't going to be able to do it again next year. We end up with a 42nd pick, which is an excellent pick. If we choose at that point, it'll be a good player. But it also gives us the leeway to move around in the draft."


The Titans also saved $1.38 million against the salary cap. They still are trying to sign free agent Billy Volek who backed up McNair last season, and Reese said he expects a new proposal from Volek's agent at any time.


The cap savings also will help Tennessee fill in the gaps on its defensive line caused by the free agent departures of end Jevon Kearse to Philadelphia and Robaire Smith to Houston. The Titans now have eight draft picks and expect to pick up more compensatory selections after losing five free agents last year.


The Jets also re-signed right guard Brent Smith who started all 16 games last season, and told wide receiver Curtis Conway he will be released over the weekend.