The Tennessee Titans have been anything but successful on the field in recent years. An editorial from David Climer of the Nashville Ledger asserts that these problems go all the way to the top, which could soon lead to the team going up for sale.
While his speculation that the team may soon be sold is just that, the thought isn’t exactly baseless.
With Bud Adams, the Titans had been a model of franchise stability. While they did move from Houston following the 1996 season, Adams was the franchise’s owner when it was born in 1960, during the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and all the way his death in 2013. According to Climer, with Adams gone, no fewer than five people can now claim ownership of the team.
“This is how Titans ownership stands: Adams’ two daughters, Amy Adams Strunk and Susie Adams Smith, each own one-third. The other third is divided equally among the heirs of Adams’ deceased son Kenneth Adams III – Kenneth S. Adams IV and Barclay Cunningham Adams, and their mother, Susan Lewis,” Climer writes.
This presents two big problems. One, they don’t appear to be especially unified. Two, even if they were, an ownership conglomerate isn’t something that the NFL seeks.
There are concerns at NFL headquarters about the unwieldy makeup of the ownership group. It is no secret that the league office prefers a majority owner rather than ownership groups. It streamlines the voting process and takes the potential for family squabbles out of the picture.
Despite all of this, there is one really good piece of news for the Titans and their Tennessee fan base: There are some good options out there if the team does end up being put up for sale.
Climer mentioned both Fred Smith and David Tepper as potentially interested parties, with their current ties to the Redskins and Steelers, respectively, as potential road blocks.
Earlier this month, rocker Jon Bon Jovi shot down rumors that he might be interested in joining the team’s ownership group but framed his denial around the fact that the organization isn’t currently up for sale.
One thing that’s not mentioned is anything about a potential move to Los Angeles, or anywhere else, as even something to fear.
Throughout this season, we’ve been peppered with rumors regarding the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and St. Louis Rams in regards to Los Angeles. They all make more sense than the Titans do, but when messy ownership situations lead to a sale of the team, it’s not infrequent that a move is at least rumored; especially when a market anywhere near L.A.’s size is team-less. So far, that has not happened.
With that said, teams with unstable ownership situations don’t tend to do well. If the Tennessee Titans are going to become consistent contenders, as they were from 1999-2008, it sounds as though they’ll need to break away from the Adams family tree do do it.