Titans Ownership Reportedly in Disagreement over Franchise's Hierarchy

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2016

The Tennessee Titans logo is seen on the field before an NFL football game between the Tennessee Titans and the New England Patriots on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Joe Howell)
Joe Howell/Associated Press

Tennessee Titans founder Bud Adams died in 2013, and the team's ownership situation has been in somewhat of a state of chaos ever since. That reportedly still remains the case during the 2016 offseason.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk provided the details Tuesday: "As one source with knowledge of the discussions tells PFT, the Titans ownership situation is still 'a mess,' with the NFL not satisfied by efforts to address issues with the hierarchy—and with the possibility of a forced sale still very real."

Florio noted the entire situation dates back to the fact Adams didn't give clear control of the Titans to a single person within his family and instead spread the authority to three sources. Amy Adams Strunk and her sister, Susie Adams Smith, both have 33 percent ownership, while Kenneth Adams IV and his mother (Susan Lewis) and brother (Barclay Cunningham Adams) each own 11 percent.

Florio's source said the three family branches still haven't resolved the situation that would ensure one of them controlled the team in the future. Florio added that "there's a belief in league circles that [Adams IV], the grandson of [Adams], may be inclined to push for a sale of the franchise if he ultimately doesn't have a path to ownership and control."

This comes after Strunk said Saturday she thought the concerns would resolve themselves soon, per Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com.

"Every month, we're getting closer to what they want. It's going to get resolved. We're not worried about that at all," she said.

Strunk also said the supposed resolution, which she envisioned to be right around the corner, would allow her to maintain control of the Titans moving forward.

Titans president Steve Underwood did not hold back his opinion regarding Tuesday's report when asked for a response, per Florio: "Anonymous sources related to Titans ownership are always unreliable and misinformed, which is why they are always anonymous."

According to Florio, the Titans situation led the NFL to implement a rule that required teams to have succession plans in place with a clear structure if an owner dies in order to avoid ugly power struggles like this in the future.

Despite the power struggle, the Titans' future on the field remains relatively bright thanks largely to the presence of quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota was the No. 2 overall pick in last season's draft, and he proceeded to tally 3,111 total yards and 22 total touchdowns in his rookie season. Tennessee also has the No. 1 pick in the upcoming 2016 draft in April, which gives it the opportunity to add more game-changing talent around the former Heisman Trophy winner.

Ideally, for the fans' sake, the Titans will draft better than how they decide to solve authority concerns in the front office.