When Manning was deciding between Denver, Nashville and San Francisco, late Titans owner Bud Adams offered the former University of Tennessee a lifetime contract to finish his career in the Volunteer state.

How tempted was Manning to choose Adams’ offer over Elway’s?

I was pretty close,” Manning told Tennessean sports editor Dave Ammenheuser at the Middle Tennessee Sports Awards Thursday night.

Adams certainly thought he had a realistic chance to land his Great White Whale.

“I was hoping we would win out,” Adams said at the time. “I thought we’d be ahead of Denver. I thought he’d want to stay in Tennessee.”

Although Manning proved to be a rising tide that lifts all boats throughout his sterling 18-year career, it’s doubtful that he would have matched his Denver success had he chosen a Tennessee squad featuring a fading Chris Johnson and an underwhelming wide receiver corps of Nate Washington, Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright.

That won’t stop Titans fans from wondering “what if.” (NFL.com)

Peyton made the right decision going to Denver if you ask me. Tennessee will always be Tennessee. Maybe that means something different to some of our older writers but to people like me, 24? Only good thing about the Titans in the last 10 years was CJ2k, and that died pretty quick.

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