UPDATED — The Tennessee Titans and Eugene Amano are close to agreeing to a reported five-year contract.
The City Paper first reported on Friday that negotiations between Amano’s agent Rocky Arceneaux were on-going. Titans Radio reported on Monday that a deal had been reached for five years, but Arceneaux called that premature.
“That report was premature. We still have quite a few things to work out,” Arceneaux said. “[Tuesday] ought to be a big day in terms of whether we get something done or not.”
Amano, 28, was a seventh-round pick out of Southeast Missouri State in 2004, and has blossomed into a dependable starter the past two seasons. Amano was part of the Titans offensive line in 2009 that helped Chris Johnson become only the sixth rusher in NFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark.
Amano and starting center Kevin Mawae are both unrestricted free agents-to-be, and the club has been wanting to create a spot in the starting lineup for third-year center Leroy Harris, who has been the top interior backup the past two seasons.
Contrary to a report from the NFL Network that said the Titans were also negotiating with the 39-year-old Mawae, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, indicated that no talks had yet taken place.
“I spoke to the Titans a couple of weeks ago about Kevin, and they said they would get back to me,” Bartelstein said.
The Titans have at least 11 and potentially as many as 17 players who are headed into unrestricted free agency.
Others who will be unrestricted free agents barring a last-minute deal include linebacker Keith Bulluck, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, tight end Alge Crumpler, cornerback Nick Harper, defensive end Jevon Kearse, safety Donnie Nickey, punter Craig Hentrich, safety Kevin Kaesviharn and cornerback Rod Hood.
Six other Titans — defensive end Dave Ball, defensive tackles Tony Brown and Kevin Vickerson, linebacker Stephen Tulloch, tight end Bo Scaife and running back LenDale White — will be restricted free agents unless a new collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon before the free agent period starts to give them unrestricted status.