Report: Former Colts GM Bill Polian Wanted To Trade Peyton Manning In 2004
The one year anniversary of Peyton Manning’s release from the Colts is upon us, and some interesting things are now coming out.
Colts owner Jim Irsay is in the talking mood this week, and he sat down with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star to talk Colts, RG3 and of course Peyton Manning.
Irsay according to Kravitz revealed to him that back in 2004, then general manager Bill Polian was frustrated with his inability to get Manning locked up to a long-term deal, and “suggested to Irsay that trade Manning, and construct a defensive minded team similar to Tampa Bay.”
According to Irsay, in 2004, a frustrated Polian was at wit’s end as he attempted to secure Manning’s new $98 million contract and, in a fit of pique, told Irsay, “We need to trade Peyton; we can get a bunch of defensive players and become like Tampa Bay or Baltimore.” Irsay said no. “Understand something, Bill, we are not trading Peyton Manning, period,’’ Irsay recalled telling the former team president.
Irsay admitted that had the Colts secured the 2nd overall pick and not the 1st, he still would have parted ways with Peyton Manning and selected RG3.
He would have drafted RGIII, but put him in a less run-happy offense. “I wouldn’t have exposed him to injury in the same way they have in Washington,” Irsay said. “My philosophy on quarterbacks is, first and foremost, you’ve got to keep them healthy and on the field.”
Had the Colts gotten the 3rd overall pick or lower, Irsay went on to say that the Colts then would have kept Manning and tried to select Russell Wilson later.
Now, if the Colts had finished third or lower, Manning would still be a Colt. And the team would have drafted his heir apparent later in the Draft. One guy they loved: Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson).