Did Titans owner fire executive because he didn't deliver Peyton Manning?

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Owner Bud Adams wanted Peyton Manning. It didn't happen, and it might have cost Mike Reinfeldt his job. (AP)

Mike Munchak received some good news on Black Monday: 89-year-old Titans owner Bud Adams decided not to fire his second-year coach. Executive vice president and COO (and the team's general manager from 2007-11) Mike Reinfeldt didn't make out quite so well; he got his walking papers after Tennessee finished 6-10 for the second time in three years.

But according to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt, Reinfeldt was sent packing for primarily one reason: failing to deliver Peyton Manning in the offseason.

Manning, who played for the University of Tennessee, was on a lot of teams' wish lists and signed with the Broncos. Denver went on to win the AFC West and is on a bye ahead of the divisional round next weekend. The Titans, meanwhile, lost 10 times in 2012, including twice by giving up more than 50 points.

"Adams felt like Reinfeldt didn't act fast enough -- or at all -- when the owner told him he wanted the Titans in the Peyton Manning chase last spring," Wyatt wrote Tuesday. "And Adams has held it against Reinfeldt ever since."

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"He is the man I want. Period," Adams said back in March of Manning. "And the people that 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."

Adams didn't try to hide the fact that he was enamored with Manning and the prospect that he could give the Titans a legit franchise quarterback.

"I hope to be one of the teams he looks at,” he continued. "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.

"That's why I am so anxious to get him to come visit with us, and I want him on my team. I could sit down with him and show him what [we'd be willing to pay]. If he would come [meet] with me, he would be happy with what he'd get."

It was later reported that Adams had offered Manning "a contract for life," including the "promise Manning could be part of the Tennessee Titans' organization after his playing days are through."

And Manning still settled on the Broncos. It makes you think that there wasn't much that Reinfeldt could've done. Doesn't matter, of course; Adams still fired him, and the Titans are still in search of a franchise QB.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to the Pick-6 Podcast on iTunes. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.

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