Over the weekend, Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk expressed a belief that concerns regarding the team’s ownership structure soon would be resolved. Others aren’t nearly are optimistic.
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.
The situation arose when team founder Bud Adams failed to bequeath clear power and control over the team to one, and only one, person. Instead, Adams spread the authority and ownership equally among the three branches of his family tree.
As the source explained it, the three family members remain unable to resolve control issues in a way that ensures one, and only one, of them will control the team going forward. There’s a belief in league circles that Kenneth Adams IV, the grandson of Bud Adams, may be inclined to push for a sale of the franchise if he ultimately doesn’t have a path to ownership and control.
Said Titans president Steve Underwood in response to a request for comment from PFT: “Anonymous sources related to Titans ownership are always unreliable and misinformed, which is why they are always anonymous.”
Strunk has control of the team, along with 33-percent ownership. Her sister, Susie Adams Smith, owns another 33 percent. Kenneth Adams IV, his mother (Susan Lewis), and his brother (Barclay Cunningham Adams), each own 11 percent.
The situation has been an ongoing matter of concern for the league since Bud Adams passed in October 2013, prompting the NFL to impose a requirement that all teams submit succession plans that clearly provide for a structure that ensures this issue won’t arise when a current owner passes.