Free agent QB Peyton Manning visited the Arizona Cardinals over the weekend./AP
By Nate Davis, USA TODAY
The Tennessee Titans made what was essentially a day-long sales pitch to free agent QB Peyton Manning on Wednesday. Apparently it included a promise of perpetual employment.
Team owner Bud Adams tells KHOU in Houston -- where Adams maintains a home and monitored developments yesterday -- that he is prepared to make Manning a Titan "for life" and "feels great" about the prospect of signing him.
One of the carrots Adams planned to dangle in front of the four-time MVP was the opportunity to work in the Tennessee front office once his playing days are done.
"Since he went to school in Tennessee, I think Tennessee is where he should be. I think he could play for two or three years. I think he's the guy that could come in and turn this around for us," Adams told The Tennessean on Sunday.
"I want him to be with me the rest of his working period of his life, even when he doesn't want to play anymore."
Tennessee hasn't won a playoff game since 2003 and was long suppressed in the AFC South by Manning and the Colts, who released him last week.
The Titans are the fourth club to meet with the 14-year NFL veteran, who's already visited with the Broncos, Cardinals and Dolphins.
Wearing an orange pullover yesterday -- an homage to his UT Vols? -- Manning spent nearly seven hours at Titans headquarters after getting picked up by COO Mike Reinfeldt, GM Ruston Webster and HC Mike Munchak in Adams' private jet in Raleigh, N.C. Manning has been working out at Duke University in Durham, N.C., with former college coach David Cutcliffe, who's now the head coach of the Blue Devils.
Whether Munchak, who drove Manning away from the Titans' facilities shortly after 10 p.m. ET last night, is his next coach remains to be seen, even as Adams pushes to add him to a solid roster that already contains veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck and 2011 first rounder Jake Locker.
"He is the man I want. Period," Adams said Sunday. "And the people t hat work for me understand that. They know who I want. I want Mr. Manning with the Titans and I will be disappointed if it doesn't happen."