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Bud Adams wants Peyton Manning in Tennessee

Bud Adams

Tennessee Titans and former Houston Oilers owner Bud Adams Jr. signs autographs during Texas Sports Hall of Fame induction activities Monday, Feb. 8, 2010, in Waco, Texas. Adams was one of several inducted into the hall. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune-Herald, Duane A. Laverty)


Peyton Manning played his college football at Tennessee. If the owner of the Titans gets his way, that’s where Manning will resume his professional career as well.

Adams told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean that he wants Manning in Tennessee, and he’s willing to spend what he has to spend to make it happen.

He is the man I want. Period,” Adams said. “And the people that work for me understand that. They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans and I will be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.”

From a business perspective, it’s easy to see why Adams feels that way: Manning remains an enormously popular figure in Tennessee, where he had a brilliant college career, and in a state where the Tennessee Volunteers are huge, the Titans would be able to charge virtually any price they want for season tickets if Manning were their quarterback.

However, Wyatt reports that Titans General Manager Ruston Webster, Chief Operating Officer Mike Reinfeldt and head coach Mike Munchak aren’t on board with Adams’ goal. The Titans’ football people think veteran Matt Hasselbeck and last year’s top pick, Jake Locker, make quarterback a position where the Titans are strong.

So that raises the question: Will the owner get his way? Or will the football people get to shape the direction of the football team? Adams sounds like he knows it’s a long shot that Manning would come on board, but he also sounds like he wants the fans in Tennessee to know he’s doing all he can.

“I hope to be one of the teams he looks at,” Adams said. “Since he went to school in Tennessee I think Tennessee is where he should be. I think he could play for two or three years. I think he’s the guy that could come in and turn this around for us. That’s why I am so anxious to get him to come visit with us and I want him on my team. I could sit down with him and show him what [we’d be willing to pay]. If he would come [meet] with me he would be happy with what he’d get. . . . I want Manning.”