Bud Adams: Peyton Manning meet set
Adams told WSMV-TV the Titans' contingent will fly out of Nashville on Wednesday and spend the day with Manning, a meeting delayed apparently by trouble getting a co-pilot for his private plane. Adams told the TV station he thinks Manning really is interested in the Titans' offer, and he expects a quick decision from the four-time MVP.
Adams told WSMV-TV the Titans' contingent will fly out of Nashville on Wednesday and spend the day with Manning, a meeting delayed apparently by trouble getting a co-pilot for his private plane.
"I think he's ... wanting to sign up with somebody pretty quickly," Adams said by telephone from his Houston home.
Manning has not eliminated any of the teams with which he has previously met -- the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, or Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, nor has he closed the door on possibly meeting with other teams.
Manning has not worked out for the teams at these meetings, but is willing to work out for teams he considers as serious finalists.
Some teams that have reviewed his medical records and observed extensive video of recent throwing sessions appear satisfied with his physical status, both in neck stability and arm strength, and may not require him to work out, according to sources. However, a source added that Manning has no hesitation about putting his throwing skills on display and would expect such a workout to be part of the process.
Where Wednesday's meeting with Tennessee will take place remains a secret, though a private plane with a Titans emblem on the tail arrived in Nashville on Tuesday afternoon with a flight plan projecting the plane to arrive in Raleigh-Durham a couple of hours later. The plane was towed behind a hangar with the flight plan scrapped for the night.
Sources previously told ESPN that coach Mike Munchak and several assistants were expected to headline the Titans contingent.
Munchak on Tuesday was busy with other non-Manning business, including meeting with free-agent guard Steve Hutchinson. Meanwhile, Green Bay Packers free-agent center Scott Wells is visiting the Titans on Wednesday, a league source told ESPN.
One goal of signing Hutchinson would be to make Tennessee even more appealing to Manning, who is close to the guard from the time they've spent together at multiple Pro Bowls in Hawaii.
But Hutchinson was on the Titans' radar even before the Manning pursuit began, as they want to beef up the interior line with a veteran leader. Hutchinson is close to Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, as well, from their days together in Seattle.
The Titans were also preparing to make a major run at Houston Texans defensive end Mario Williams, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, but Adams has made it known he wants Manning and will do whatever it takes to sign the quarterback.
"I want Manning," Adams told The Tennessean on Sunday. "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."
Manning met with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and other staff members for roughly five or six hours Monday night in Indianapolis, sources told ESPN.
Manning certainly has plenty of connections to Tennessee, the state where he starred at the University of Tennessee, and where his name remains a popular choice for children. His wife is from Memphis, and Manning already knows the Titans' facility a bit, having practiced against Tennessee a few years ago when the Colts came to town for some joint practices.
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Munchak also was a teammate of Archie Manning in 1982 and briefly in 1983 with the then-Houston Oilers. Munchak just hired Dennis Polian -- son of former Colts general manager Bill Polian -- as his assistant.
The biggest key is Adams, the 89-year-old billionaire who wants back in the playoffs. His Titans have been only twice since 2004 with both trips in 2007 and 2008 lasting only one game each. When he wants a quarterback, he gets him whether it was having his Titans draft Vince Young in 2006 or signing Warren Moon away from the CFL.
The Titans already have Hasselbeck, signed to a three-year contract last July, and Jake Locker picked with the No. 8 overall selection in the 2011 draft. But Hasselbeck is due $5.5 million in salary this year after getting a chunk of his deal last season.
Manning has continued to rehab his shoulder and neck. He is expected to resume his throwing regimen -- most likely at Duke University, where he threw last week -- while he analyzes his free-agent choices, with no apparent deadline in place to make a decision, a source added to ESPN.
Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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