Titans' execs fly into NC, pick up Peyton Manning

TERESA M. WALKER
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011 file photo, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams greets people on the field before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville, Tenn.  Titans coach Mike Munchak, general manager Ruston Webster and Adams' top executive in Tennessee have taken off in the team's private plane headed for a meeting with Peyton Manning.  (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)
View photos
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2011 file photo, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams greets people on the field before an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Tennessee Titans, in Nashville, Tenn. Titans coach Mike Munchak, general manager Ruston Webster and Adams' top executive in Tennessee have taken off in the team's private plane headed for a meeting with Peyton Manning. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Titans coach Mike Munchak, general manager Ruston Webster and owner Bud Adams' Chief Operating Officer in Tennessee have picked up Peyton Manning at the Raleigh-Durham airport and according to a new flight plan they're headed back to Nashville.

Manning arrived at the airport riding in the backseat of black Escalade at 1:53 p.m. EDT.

Munchak, Webster and Mike Reinfeldt — the Titans chief operating officer — had arrived at the airport just before 1:30 p.m. EDT. The plane has departed Raleigh-Durham and is expected back in Nashville at 3:10 p.m. EDT.

Where the meeting will happen continues to remain a closely guarded secret.

Manning has been seen in the Raleigh-Durham area during the last six weeks working out several times at Duke. Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe was Manning's offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee and they remain friends.

Adams told WSMV-TV on Tuesday night the meeting with the four-time MVP would happen Wednesday with plans for a full day together.

The owner has said he will do whatever it takes to sign Manning in his chase for a championship. He sees the quarterback as the missing piece. The 89-year-old Adams is staying in Houston, and that's why Reinfeldt joined Webster and Munchak for this trip. Adams promoted Reinfeldt from general manager in January to senior executive vice president and COO to act as his point man with the team in Tennessee while he lives 650 miles away.

The Titans already have veteran Matt Hasselbeck with two years left on a deal signed last July, and drafted Jake Locker with the eighth pick overall in the 2011 draft.

The quarterback's suitors include Denver, Arizona and Miami. He reportedly visited with the Dolphins Monday night in Indianapolis.

Cutcliffe declined to answer any questions about Manning Wednesday following the Blue Devils spring practice. However, when asked how his players were handling the distraction with the new faces around, the coach laughed and said, "you found a way, didn't you" to get in a question about Manning.

He said having Manning at the team's facilities has not been a problem.

"That's always, for them (the Duke players), encouraging and fun. That's the honest truth," Cutcliffe said of Manning working out at Duke's facilities. "But they've done a great job of letting anybody that's in here work and do what they've got to do, and they work around them.

"I think it's always good to have examples and see the kind of work ethic it takes to succeed in football."

___

AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary contributed to this report from Durham, N.C.