Bill Polian is a Hall of Fame General Manager, but as an ESPN analyst he’s struggling to get his stories straight.
Polian says the Eagles should turn down anything but a monster trade offer for backup quarterback Nick Foles. According to Polian, a reliable backup like Foles is so valuable that the Eagles shouldn’t even listen to a trade offer of anything less than two first-round picks and two second-round picks.
So we’re all clear on this: Polian thinks a backup quarterback is an incredibly valuable asset to a football team. He would never pass up a chance to pair a good backup like Foles with a good starter like Carson Wentz.
Except that’s exactly what Polian has previously claimed he did.
Polian has said in the past that in the 2000 NFL draft, when he was General Manager of the Colts, he had a first-round grade on Tom Brady. So why, when Polian had a first-round grade on Brady, did he pass on Brady multiple times? After all, in the fifth round, when Brady was sitting there with a first-round grade (supposedly) on the Colts’ draft board, Polian instead took an offensive lineman named Matt Johnson, who never played a down.
The answer, according to Polian, is that the Colts already had Peyton Manning, and therefore they didn’t need to draft a quarterback. But that’s preposterous in light of what Polian says about Foles. If backup quarterbacks are so vital to an organization that Polian would value Foles at two firsts and two seconds, then why on earth wouldn’t Polian have used a fifth-round pick to draft Brady as Manning’s backup?
Polian drafted backup quarterback Jim Sorgi in 2004 when Peyton Manning was the reigning league MVP, so it’s not that Polian wasn’t willing to draft a quarterback while he had Manning on the roster. So why did Polian pass on Brady?
The honest answer is that Polian is full of it when he claims he had a first-round grade on Brady, and he’s simultaneously offering up a ridiculous opinion when he suggests the Eagles should hang up if someone calls to offer them two first-round picks, a second-round pick and a third-round pick for Foles.
At this time of year, when the draft, free agency and trades are the talk of the NFL, a Hall of Fame G.M. like Polian should be offering valuable insight in his job as an NFL analyst. Unfortunately, he’s not.