A week ago, Jim Irsay said goodbye to his long-time quarterback Peyton Manning. After his release, many teams wanted to meet with him and talk about the future of their team. However, there is no way anyone could have anticipated the frenzy. NFL Network has created a “Manning Watch” which is a part of their show dedicated to Manning and where he will finish his career.
When this first started the teams that everyone expected to be interested in Manning, like Miami, Denver, Arizona, Seattle and Kansas City did indeed publicize their interest. Manning has not met with all of them, but they were considered. Recently, the newest member added to the “Manning Watch” party, and the one team that Jim Irsay isn’t too fond of, is the Tennessee Titans.
The Tennessee Titans are not just interested in Peyton Manning, but they plan to throw everything at him. The Titans’ owner says that he wants Manning and is willing to pay anything to acquire him. The Titans and Manning met on Wednesday afternoon and continued at least six hours into the evening. In the meeting, it is possible that Titans’ owner, Bud Adams, offered him not only a position on this team, but also a chance to be a minority owner. The rumor was that the Titans are prepared to give him as much money as he wants and the right to their franchise. Other than this being a very sweet deal, it is also inviting. Manning is yet to give a decision, or even lean toward a team, as of yet. No one knows what Manning is thinking, but how can you pass up a part owner position? He may very well sign with Tennessee where he played his college ball. Manning would play for the Titans and have part ownership as well; much like Mario Lemieux did in Pittsburgh.
The idea of Manning going to Tennessee has got to be eating at Colts owner Jim Irsay. Here are the reasons: Manning knows that division very well. He also knows the Colts and what they can do. Everyone in that division thought they just got rid of Manning, but if he goes to Tennessee, they would have to deal with him as an opponent and on a better team, no less. The Titans have good young receivers, a fairly new head coach, and a running game that, a few years ago, rushed for over 2,000 yards. There is no way Irsay wants to see Manning in Indianapolis as a visitor on a divisional team.
I still believe that Denver is the best spot for him, but with this recent news, how could Manning pass up this opportunity? These players play in the game because they love it, but it does come with rewards, like money. Let’s face it; this is Manning’s last time to make a significant amount of money while he plays. He is not going to take the lowest amount just to play again. The idea is for these players to earn this money to live on the rest of their life. Why wouldn’t he want to do whatever it takes to make as much as he can?
A report out of Tennessee is that owner Bud Adams offered Peyton Manning a contract “for life.” Honestly, how can Manning turn that down? Even with that news Manning says the Broncos, Cardinals and Dolphins are still in the mix, and he would consider meeting with new teams.
Will the Peyton Manning saga ever end?
Follow me on Twitter @cbbatchelder, or “like” me on Facebook at Christopher B. Batchelder-Rant Sports