Artical from ProFootball Weekly As for this season, you might say the Titans have a long way to go but a short time to get there. Whether the playoffs are little more than a mirage for the 3-5 Titans at this point is open for debate. Such a discussion only scratches the surface of a greater argument in Nashville which direction Tennessee may go in the future. QB Steve McNairs short-term future is unknown. A sternum injury originally suffered in Week Three has been a continuous issue for Tennessee. And as the Titans map out their long-term future beginning with the 2006 season it is unclear whether McNair remains a key piece of the puzzle. Hell be 32 in February, and in March 2006 the Titans are scheduled to pay McNair a $50 million bonus $15.5 million above the record bonus Peyton Manning received last March that would increase his cap figure to $26.83 million for 2006. If the Titans decide not to exercise the option, McNair would become a free agent. And at age 33, Tennessee may not believe McNair is worth a starters salary, of which the leaguewide average continues to climb. The bonus was added to McNairs contract this summer, when Tennessee added three years to his deal in order to reduce his base salary from $6.75 million to $660,000. The option triggers the 06 ($9 million in salary), 07 ($11 million salary), 08 ($13 million salary) and 09 ($15 million salary) seasons in addition to the one-time bonus. During each of those seasons, McNairs cap hit would soar to well above $20 million. Of course, McNair seeing much of that pay is highly unlikely, and the Titans brass admits as much. And the franchise tag is not an option if McNair is released after 2005, before the $50 million bonus is due. So Tennessee is plotting its course for the 2005 offseason now again trying to fill holes without breaking the bank with an eye toward the 06 offseason, which could hit with wrecking-ball force. In addition to McNair potentially becoming a free agent, WR Derrick Mason hits free agency in spring of 05. LCB Samari Rolle and DE Kevin Carter have escalating salaries that may need to be reworked to help the teams cap situation. Mason and Rolle both are represented by Lamont Smith, the agent for RB Eddie George, who left for Dallas in June upon his release. OLT Brad Hopkins may have to be addressed after this season, as his base salary jumps from $760,000 in 04 to $3.25 million next season. ORT Fred Miller is a candidate to be released in the offseason, as hes due $14 million in salary over the next three seasons. Miller turns 32 before opening day in 05, and his base salary jumps from a reduced $660,000 this season to $4 million next season. There was thought within the organization that second-year WR Tyrone Calico could emerge as the teams No. 1 receiver by the end of this season. But Calico, injured in the Titans third preseason game at Dallas, is out for the rest of the season, costing the Titans valuable self-scout opportunities. Mason will be 32 before he hits the open market, and Rolle, who doesnt turn 30 until August 2006, could be in position to ask for the moon as an unrestricted free agent. Even if McNair wants to remain in Tennessee, with no regard to economics, the face of the Titans may be dramatically altered in the very near future.