Titans to make big pitch to Manning
Titans owner Bud Adams wants to sign Peyton Manning and says he will do whatever is necessary to persuade the four-time NFL MVP to come to Tennessee, even offering up a job in the front office once his playing career ends.
Adams told The Tennessean on Sunday that he has contacted Manning's agent, Tom Condon, to express his interest and ask for the quarterback to visit the Titans. Manning visited Denver on Friday and spent more than six hours in Arizona on Sunday.
''I want Manning,'' Adams said. ''I'd love to see him in Titan blue after watching him so many years with the Colts. ... I want him. I am ready to do what it takes to get him aboard, and I think he'd be the guy to get us into the playoffs.''
The 89-year-old owner has watched his franchise miss the playoffs six times in the last eight seasons, with one-and-done postseason appearances in 2007 and 2008.
The last time Adams wanted to add a quarterback, the Titans drafted Vince Young in 2006. The Titans cut Young after the 2010 season in a move team officials convinced Adams had to be made.
New general manager Ruston Webster said twice in the past month that the Titans were happy with their quarterbacks. Tennessee signed Matt Hasselbeck to a three-year deal in July 2011 and used the eighth overall pick in last year's draft on Jake Locker.
But the Titans went 9-7 in Mike Munchak's first season as coach, just missing a playoff berth. They also have plenty of salary-cap space, with about $30 million to spend.
And Adams said Manning is the quarterback he wants.
''And the people that work for me understand that,'' Adams told the newspaper. ''They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans, and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen.''
Adams said he hopes Manning looks at the Titans, since the team plays in the same state where the quarterback played in college.
Adams said he believes Manning can play for two or three more years and turn around the Titans for him, and the owner is willing to sweeten the deal by offering the chance for Manning to stay with the team for the rest of his ''working life.''
''That's why I am so anxious to get him to come visit with us and I want him on my team,'' Adams said.
Adams said Condon is all for having Manning visit the Titans - if the front office is in agreement with the owner. The Titans owner may live in Houston, but he said the general manager and other top officials will do what he tells them to do.
''That's the guy I want, and I am going to make the decision,'' Adams said.