Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a league source with knowledge of the situation, reports that the ownership issues regarding the Tennessee Titans stem directly from the fact that their late founder Bud Adams did not establish a clear succession plan.
After Adams passed, the franchise was transferred to a trust that is owned in equally among Adams’ his two daughters — Susie Adams Smith and Amy Adams Strunk — and the children of his late son, Kenneth Adams III.
Florio writes that this structure prevents any one person from owning the team, which is what the league would prefer.
The heirs have reportedly attempted to make Strunk the controlling owner by agreement. However, Florio mentions that this agreement still doesn’t satisfy the league’s requirement of “a person with the clear, legal power to do the things that a controlling owner must be able to do.”
The NFL is still considered about the ownership structure on a long-term basis.
One fix proposed by Florio would be for Strunk to buy out the other two thirds of the franchise. The problem with this is that it would be a very costly move, and there’s no guarantee she would be able to do so.
Barring changes to the Titans’ structure, Florio believes this situation could ultimately end up in court and lead to them putting the team up for sale.
There has been speculation for several months now that Manning could move on from the NFL next year and pursue an opportunity to either have a role similar to John Elway‘s with the Broncos or become part of an ownership group.
It’s worth mentioning that the Titans have maintained that they have no intention of selling team, and even told GM candidates as much during their recent search.
We’ll have more regarding the Titans and a potential sale as the news is available.