Colts owner Jim Irsay says that former G.M. Bill Polian wanted to trade quarterback Peyton Manning in 2004.
Polian has now responded, with a statement issued via his current employer, ESPN. In the statement, Polian doesn’t deny the contention.
Actually, the statement doesn’t really state much of anything. And it definitely doesn’t deny that Polian wanted to trade Manning.
“In my 14 years as President and Vice Chairman of the Colts, I had many discussions with Mr. Irsay regarding the application of the franchise tag,” Polian said. “No matter how emotionally tied I was to the player, it was my duty to explain to Mr. Irsay all options including matching offer sheets and trade possibilities. In all cases, we were able to reach long-term agreements with the players and their agents and take the Colts to an unprecedented run of success.”
Irsay explained that Polian’s request came at a time when the Colts were trying to negotiate a new contract with Peyton, and Peyton wanted a big pile of cash, which he eventually got.
Polian’s non-statement statement serves only to nudge the story to the top of the stack again, reminding everyone of the previously unknown reality that, yes, he once wanted the Colts to trade one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game — and that Irsay kept it from happening.