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No deal between Titans, All Pro defensive tackle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -All Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth doesn't have the security of the long-term contract with the guaranteed money he wanted. What he does have is a one-year deal paying him $7.25 million and a season to make his case that he deserves what he's asking.

The Tennessee Titans and Haynesworth failed to reach an agreement on an extension by Tuesday's deadline for franchised players.

Team officials and Haynesworth's agent, Chad Speck, talked most of Monday and up to Tuesday's 4 p.m. EDT deadline without reaching an extension to keep the six-year veteran past the 2008 season. Both sides can keep talking, but no long-term contract could be signed until after the Titans finish the season.

Now Haynesworth must decide when to sign the tender the Titans say makes him the highest-paid defensive tackle in the NFL. Speck disagreed and cited five tackles earning more than Haynesworth this year.

Speck called it disappointing they could not reach a deal before the deadline when Haynesworth repeatedly has said he wants to remain with the Titans.

"We offered several fair and balanced proposals to the Titans over the past few days that would have paid Albert like one of the top defensive tackles in football - all of which were rejected," Speck said in an e-mail.

"We moved considerably off those proposals as the deadline approached today in an effort to close the deal; these movements were also rejected by the Titans. While we certainly respect the Titans' position, it is unfortunate that Albert will not be signed long term when training camp opens next week."

With the Titans opening camp July 25, general manager Mike Reinfeldt said nobody wins with Haynesworth not being there at the start. He also thinks both sides can benefit in one-year deals.

"He still has the carrot in front of him. At the same time, we can still get something done in the future," Reinfeldt said.

The Titans have had money to spend to keep their own players, and they already have signed left tackle Michael Roos and right tackle David Stewart to contract extensions this offseason along with receiver Justin Gage and fullback Ahmard Hall.

But Reinfeldt said they couldn't agree to the right number with Haynesworth's agent after months of talks, even though it looked like they might reach a deal before the deadline. He declined to discuss what the Titans' offer was in money or years.

"Unfortunately at the end, we couldn't quite bridge the gap to get it done," Reinfeldt said.

"He's a player who is a big part of what we do and have done in the past and will do in the future. Albert has said on a number of occasions this is where he wants to be. When you have a player and a team that wants to be together, we did make a lot of progress in the negotiations, so there is hopefully some optimism for getting it done at the end of the season."

Teams gave out some big contracts for tackles this year, including lots of guaranteed money.

Tommy Kelly receives $13.62 million from Oakland in 2008 from his $50.5 million deal, and Tommie Harris takes home $10.6 million in his four-year deal. Kris Jenkins will receive $9.5 million from the Jets.

Now talks with Haynesworth will turn toward the one-year tender, and a team can franchise a player three times, but also can waive its right to use the tag on a player in a contract.

"Our focus will shift to discussing an agreement with the Titans that would prevent them from franchising him again next year," Speck said.

Reinfeldt said the Titans were open to talks involving the future use of the franchise tag.

Tennessee had not used the tag on a player since safety Blaine Bishop in 1997.

The 6-foot-2, 320-pound Haynesworth is coming off his best season after getting six sacks, 23 quarterback pressures and earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career.

But the Titans see a player who has yet to play an entire 16-game season, missing 20 of a possible 96 games either due to injuries or the five-game suspension Haynesworth served in 2006 for swiping his cleated foot over Dallas center Andre Gurode's face. Haynesworth missed three games in 2007 with a strained hamstring and had only one sack in his final five games.

Haynesworth sat out the team's offseason program, working out on his own. When he returns and what shape he is in will play a key role on a defense that was the NFL's fifth-best and led the Titans back to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Note:The Titans have agreed to terms with receiver Lavelle Hawkins and also confirmed that they had agreed to terms with linebacker Stanford Keglar.

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