Former Colts GM Bill Polian Shuns Bills to Stay with ESPN


While earlier reports were swirling that former Colts’ GM Bill Polian was going to rejoin the Buffalo Bills as their new team president, the rumors have since been quashed. At age 72, Polian has enjoyed the quality of both his personal and professional life as an ESPN NFL Analyst & Commentator and wants to continue in his less stressful, yet high profile mainstream television and radio position.

Sep 15, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills former general manager Bill Polian at halftime during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula had previously reached out to Polian about becoming a possible advisor before discussing with him about the chance to head the team’s front office all together.

Polian’s last NFL front office position was of course with the Indianapolis Colts in 2011. He served as a key member of the Colts front office from 1997 to 2011, with his most notable achievement of constructing the Super Bowl XLI Champion Colts in 2006.

However, Polian is no stranger to Buffalo, having served previously as their GM from 1986 to 1993. While with Buffalo, Polian’s teams appeared in 4 straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993, but lost in all 4 of their consecutive appearances. It’s still a notable accomplishment nevertheless, as his teams produced 6 Future NFL Hall of Famers and were 4-time AFC Champions during that span. Additionally, Polian won NFL Executive of the Year twice while with Buffalo in both 1988 and 1991.

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After leaving Buffalo’s front office, Polian headed the Carolina Panthers football operations as GM, where he served from 1994-97. With Carolina, his team went to the NFC Championship game in just the franchise’s 2nd year of existence.

From there, he was hired by the Indianapolis Colts and the rest is history. While Polian achieved significant success overall during his run as the head of the Colts front office, his last few NFL drafts produced dwindling results, and he was subsequently fired after the 2011 season in which his constructed team went 2-14. Following that dismal season, Colts owner Jim Irsay wanted to go in a new direction and rebuild what was an aging and talent-depleted roster with new leadership at the helm.

In his esteemed career as an NFL GM, Polian is the only 6-time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year Award, an annual award given to the league’s best deemed GM. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, he is 1 of 2 finalists for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when the voting occurs on January 31st.

Bill Polian was fired by the Colts after the team went 2-14 in 2011.

(Photo: AJ Mast, AP)