Tennessee Titans: The Rebuilding Continues
By Les Bailey
The Tennessee Titans have the one thing that every team in the National Football League want and need with a franchise quarterback already on the roster, but remains a rudderless ship that can’t seem to find a way to turn this proud old franchise around and make it relevant again.
The team turned into a mess after longtime owner and Pro Football pioneer Bud Adams passed away back in October of 2013 and has never recovered.
Adams made some mistakes with his franchise, but he was a “Football Guy” and none of his offspring fell close enough to the tree where they could pick up the mindset to run this thing, and the big mistake Bud made was not planning for the future of the team before he passed away.
Even the emergence of Amy Adams Strunk as the spokesperson for the family has not been able to solve the ownership problems that continue to be challenged by the NFL.
President and CEO Steve Underwood continues to tell everyone that there is no “For Sale” sign in front of the Titans facility, but where there’s smoke, there is usually fire, and I feel like the Titans will never be relevant until someone puts a stop to the rumors.
Mike Florio said in a January 3rd article at ProFootballTalk entitled: Titans inclination to keep Mike Mularkey is confounding to many
While the Titans privately and public insist that the team isn’t for sale, they could be choosing to retain maximum flexibility in the event they ultimately are forced to sell. As one source explained it, team president Steve Underwood spends much of his time trying to persuade the league office that the current ownership structure complies with all applicable rules and provisions. At some point, the league could win that argument — compelling a sale that would be easier to finalize if the new owner isn’t being hamstrung by a market-value contract for a head coach.
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Florio continued to hammer the point in a January 9th story ”
Up to six potential buyers in play for Titans, who still aren’t for sale
They apparently won’t result in a voluntary sale of the team, which is what makes litigation a real possibility. Unless the league relents in its position that: (1) the current structure doesn’t comply with league rules; and (2) the only way to comply with league rules is to sell, the choices for current ownership will be to become pariahs among their partners by playing the antitrust card — or no longer having partners at all.
Earlier this week, team president Steve Underwood admitted that issues regarding ownership exist.
“Those are things we’re working through with the league since I came back to work here,” Underwood told reporters, via the Tennessean. “We’ve made progress in trying to work through our issues with the league. I think we’ve made good progress. We expect to continue working with the league to help get there.”
He also reiterated once again that the team isn’t for sale, and he opted not to comment on PFT’s report that an antitrust lawsuit could be looming to prevent a forced sale.
As the team moves forward looking for a new head coach and general manager, all of this chaos has to be problematic for those conducting the search.
Head coaches are flexible and their careers cans stand some setbacks that currently exist in Music City, but general managers can’t.
Most of the time when a general manager whiffs, it is a major setback to their career that they can rarely overcome.
The clock is ticking and offseason activities will start getting cranked up even before the Super Bowl. So the Titans need a general manager and head coach to start evaluating talent for 2016, or it will result in another lost season, and probably another top draft pick in 2017.
I believe the rebuilding can not begin in earnest until the aforementioned problems can be put to rest, or the team can be sold.
Tennessee Titans fans can only hope the team is sold to a concern with some knowledge of the NFL who have a love for professional football.