NFL Nation: 2014 season predictions
Titans strike out in Manning sweepstakes
March, 19, 2012
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com
Well, they gave it a shot.
The Tennessee Titans lost out in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.
It would be great if the Titans could now return to the plan formulated before owner Bud Adams forced a detour into the quarterback market. But many pieces of the plan have evaporated.
They wouldn't have matched the kind of money the Buffalo Bills will pay defensive end Mario Williams. They watched John Abraham return to Atlanta. Centers Scott Wells and Chris Myers are off the market.
Now, they should be players for Kamerion Wimbley. They need to gauge what's going on with Dwight Freeney. They need to seek any sort of viable pass-rusher.
They've added guard Steve Hutchinson, who will help Chris Johnson just as much with Matt Hasselbeck or Jake Locker going forward as he could have helped Manning.
I'm not sure the Titans will find the pass-rusher they desperately need in remaining free agency or the draft, but they'll give it their best shot.
As for Hasselbeck, the presumptive opening day starter: He's a big boy. He understood that Bud Adams wanted Manning. He understands who Manning is. The team kept him in the loop.
It didn't make a change, so things revert. I don't think he was insulted, not in any way that would linger or be an issue going forward.
Yes, the owner and the city are now dealing with disappointment. But just a couple of weeks ago, Manning wasn't a real possibility for the franchise. Then hopes were higher than the Music City's Batman Building. Now he is a dream that flamed out.
Life goes on.
The Titans would have been better with him.
They may still be able to challenge for the division without him.
Final Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14 Final Detroit 23 Buffalo 0 Final Indianapolis 7 Cincinnati 35 Final New York 7 Philadelphia 37 Final St. Louis 13 Miami 14 Final Kansas City 14 Green Bay 34 Final Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0 Final New England 13 New York 16 Final Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10 Final Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13 Final Chicago 13 Cleveland 33 Final San Francisco 40 Houston 13 Final Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3 Final Denver 27 Dallas 3 Final Arizona 9 San Diego 12 Final Seattle 31 Oakland 41