Owner: Titans will meet with Manning on Wednesday
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans will be meeting with Peyton Manning on Wednesday, according to owner Bud Adams.
Adams told WSMV-TV the Titans' contingent will fly out of Nashville on Wednesday and spend the day with Manning, a meeting delayed apparently by trouble getting a co-pilot for his private plane. Adams told the TV station he thinks Manning really is interested in the Titans' offer, and he expects a quick decision from the four-time MVP.
"I think he's ... wanting to sign up with somebody pretty quickly," Adams said by telephone from his Houston home.
Where the meeting will take place remains a secret, though a private plane with a Titans' emblem on the tail arrived in Nashville on Tuesday afternoon with a flight plan projecting the plane to arrive in Raleigh-Durham a couple hours later. The plane was towed behind a hangar with the flight plan scrapped for the night.
That left coach Mike Munchak busy with other non-Manning business. Munchak left shortly before 1 p.m. ET and returned about 45 minutes later with free agent guard Steve Hutchinson. Munchak left again a couple of hours later and returned with an unidentified passenger, but not Manning in a day in Nashville with lots of waiting and watching.
It's been that way since Adams made it known he wants Manning and will do whatever it takes to sign the quarterback. The anticipation has mounted since the former Indianapolis and University of Tennessee quarterback agreed to meet with the Titans — though when and where has been a closely guarded secret.
Manning's day book has reportedly included meetings with the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Miami Dolphins. The Titans are his latest suitor.
But there was other free agent business to deal with besides the Manning watch.
Munchak met with Hutchinson, who played with Minnesota last year. The five-time first-team All-Pro guard could boost the offense line for the Titans. Tennessee ranked 31st in rushing last year averaging 89.9 yards per game. Chris Johnson had a career-low 1,047 yards.
Munchak picked Hutchinson up at the airport with some personal service. The coach drove past reporters hoping for an update as Munchak pulled back into the parking lot.
Tennessee also made a few other moves. The Titans signed safety Jordan Babineaux and linebacker Patrick Bailey to multi-year contracts before free agency opened. Re-signing Babineaux means Tennessee returns both their starting safeties with the franchise tag slapped on Michael Griffin.
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