Titans’ Amano now one of NFL’s highest-paid guards

Veteran guard Eugene Amano signed his five-year, $26.25 million contract with the Titans on Wednesday, keeping one of the more coveted potential free agents off the market.

Amano is now signed through 2014, according to a league source. Had he hit the open market, the Redskins, who are badly in need of offensive line help, were likely to be among his suitors.

Amano’s deal will pay him $12.515 million in 2010; he will earn $18.375 million over the first three years, according to a league source.

Amano will receive a signing bonus of $7.25 million, and $3.087 million of his 2010 salary is guaranteed. His full 2010 salary is $5.265 million. He is set to earn $2.68 million in 2011, $3.18 million in 2012, $3.685 million in 2013 and $4.187 million in 2014.

Amano, one of the key players along the NFL’s better offensive lines, has been performing at a Pro Bowl level.

The Titans also are interested in re-signing Pro Bowl center Kevin Mawae before March 5, when he would become a free agent. The team hopes to make progress with Mawae, and expect them to initiate more serious talks soon. However, if Mawae is looking for more than what aging centers such as the Ravens’ Matt Birk and the Colts’ Jeff Saturday received last year, he’s likely end up hitting the open market.

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