When the NFL Owners Meetings got underway on Monday, there were a lot of questions, and speculation surrounding the Tennessee Titans organization. The retirement on Friday, of President and CEO, Tommy Smith, and the appointment of Steve Underwood into the position sparked the rumors, that maybe the troubled franchise was up for sale.
Steve Underwood, who is tasked with finding local management for the team, quickly put the rumors to rest by telling the world that the team is looking to right the ship, and that it is not for sale at this time.
Tennessean reporter, Jim Wyatt made it clear in his March 24th article that the management problems were primarily due to the dysfunctional Adams family.
"“My sources are the five people who own the team, and to a person they all say the team is not for sale. They tell me they are not selling,” Underwood said. “What I am being told is to find a new president to help get our club in a direction moving forward, and those are not the kinds of things that owners do when they are looking to sell.“There have been no offers. I don’t think they would listen to any offers, but no one has made any offers. The owners themselves have made clear the team is not for sale.”"
If the team is indeed not for sale, then steps were needed to restructure the ownership going forward.
The job of seeing that the Tennessee Titans are structured properly for the future falls on the shoulders of NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell.
Goodell met with family members on Tuesday. He indicated that the league had been in dialogue with the club every since the death of Bud Adams, back in October of 2013.
"“This is something we have been working on since Mr. Adams passed away,’’ Goodell said on Wednesday from the owners meetings. “We want to ensure that the team is under the proper ownership structure, as well as making sure it is being represented properly not only in Nashville and the Tennessee market, but also at the league level.“We take it very seriously, the votes of every club. Each club is certainly dependent on the others to make informed decisions and one with a long-term view towards what’s best for the league and what’s best for the franchises.”"
As reported by Jim Wyatt from the Tennessean, the major change involved which of Bud Adams’ two daughters would be the point of contact for the NFL, concerning league matters.
Susie Adams Smith was appointed as the controlling owner after Bud’s death. A situation, which the NFL Owners signed off on at the time. That structure changed this week, with Amy Adams Strunk being appointed as the point of contact for the league.
I’m hoping these changes, along with a solid management team resident in Nashville is the step needed to start turning this franchise around.
Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if the Titans draft Marcus Mariota, Leonard Williams, or Jameis Winston. As long as there is dysfunction at the top of this organization, the product on the field will never get better.
The NFL is not in the habit of letting teams get too far out of the box, before they start reeling them in, and making them accountable for decisions they make. The success of the league depends on the success of all 32 teams.
If the Adams family can’t solve their internal problems, I suspect the league, and Roger Goodell will force change, and may well lead to a sale somewhere down the road.
Which ever the case, I expect changes to happen soon, and we should see a vast improvement on the field. Maybe not as soon as 2015, but soon.