About a month ago, we heard whispers that the Titans could be the next NFL franchise to hit the market. Those rumors popped up again this afternoon, when CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweeted that he is still hearing “rumblings” of a potential 2015 sale.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean tracked down team CEO Tommy Smith to get a reaction to the report, and the executive quickly shot down the rumors.
“The team is not for sale,” said Smith. “We are not entertaining any conversations in regard to the sale of the team. Period. Any statements that say so are completely off base, and I resent it. It is not helpful to what we are trying to accomplish as an organization and as a family.”
In La Canfora’s tweet earlier today, the writer echoed previous reports that FedEx CEO and Washington minority owner Fred Smith could be a frontrunner along with Steelers minority owner David Tepper.
“All that is totally irresponsible,’’ Smith said. “All of that is completely off-base and unfounded.
“I have only the highest respect for Fred Smith. He is a true captain of industry and one of the greatest entrepreneurs in the 20th century in American business. I think very highly of him. But I am not talking to Fred Smith about this, or anything else for that matter. I would be glad to visit with him, but not about the team. The team is not for sale.
“As for Mr. Tepper, he is successful in the business world and I wish him success. But they have had nothing to do with the Tennessee Titans and my family.”
Meanwhile, the team president also rejected the idea that Peyton Manning could purchase the franchise when his playing career is over.
“All of that is just nonsense. It’s completely unfounded. It’s just irresponsible,’’ Smith said. “It’s not going to happen. Peyton may retire, I am not saying that’s not going to happen. And I want to say I have only the highest regard for Peyton and the Manning family. They are a first-class family, Peyton and Eli and Archie have contributed greatly to the National Football League and I appreciate their efforts.
“I wish them the best in their future pursuits, but it’s not with me.”