Titans owner Bud Adams said today he is fine with quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker moving forward after losing out on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes to the Denver Broncos.
“It’s not that I don’t like the quarterbacks we have,” Adams told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. “I think Hasselbeck is a fine player, and the young one there (Locker), every time he comes in he scored touchdowns for us. I am going to leave it up to the coaches to make the decision on who plays. When September rolls around we’ll still have two good ones.”
Adams decided to enter the chase for Manning, seeing it as a rare opportunity to land a four-time NFL Most Valuable Player and one of the most celebrated free agents in NFL history.
Manning informed Adams this morning he was choosing the Broncos.
“I was hoping we would win out,” Adams said. “I thought we’d be ahead of Denver. I thought he’d want to stay in Tennessee. I thought we could outdo them. But I guess we didn’t do it. He called me himself and told me he wasn’t coming, that he made his mind up to go with Denver.
“It was a close call for him. I told him he was going into high altitude so he better start running here to get his legs in better shape. He got a kick out of that.”
In recent days, Manning had narrowed his choices down to three teams — Tennessee, Denver and San Francisco. Miami and Arizona were on the initial list. Manning’s ties to the state of Tennessee had some Titans fans hopeful. Others believed the team was fine with Hasselbeck and Locker.
Adams said he was willing to offer Manning a role in the front office after his playing career, but in the end Manning made his own decision, one that was out of the Titans’ control.
“I absolutely was going to pay him,” Adams said. “And I was going to pay him to be with us until he was ready to be buried. And I was going to take care of him. I was going to spend a lot of money on him. But he didn’t want that. He wanted to be somewhere else and I can’t do anything about that.
“He knew about what we were going to pay him, and it was going to be a sizeable deal.”
Tags: Bud Adams
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