Polian’s return to Bills breaks down over money


The Bills had expected to see a 2015 return to the franchise from Bill Polian.  On Wednesday night, Jason La Canfora of CBS reported unequivocally that Polian “will be taking over as Bills team president/football czar but move may not be announced til late Jan, due to his commitments.”

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, which had been conspicuously (but predictably) silent on the subject Polian’s status, Polian will be staying at ESPN.

“Bill Polian today informed Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula that he will remain as an ESPN NFL analyst and commentator for 2015 and beyond,” Mortensen writes.  “Pegula had reached out to Polian in an advisory capacity and eventually gauged his interest to head the team’s front office.  That led to further discussions but Polian decided he was content with his current quality of personal and professional life. Pegula was understanding of Polian’s position.”

Not mentioned by Mortensen is the reality that, per a league source, Polian ultimately decided he wanted more money than Pegula was willing to pay.  It’s also possible that Polian leveraged the interest into a sweetened deal with ESPN, to remain there “for 2015 and beyond.”

It’s also believed Polian wanted Marrone to remain in place as the head coach.  Last month, Polian raved about Marrone, who opted to collect $4 million to walk away.

Polian’s decision not to return to Buffalo now turns the entire plan upside down.  Guys who were believed to be in trouble (like CEO Russ Brandon and G.M. Doug Whaley) now may have bought some more time.  How much time isn’t known, because the current thinking is that Pegula will feel compelled to make a run at a big-name coach.

Which could mean that Bill Cowher finally will get the major payday that he was never going to get in Pittsburgh.

82 responses to “Polian’s return to Bills breaks down over money

  1. Vic Carucci recently spoke with Polian and Polian said it had to do with Orton retiring and losing Marrone.

    It would be a “real heavy lift” for him.

  2. I have zero faith in Brandon and Whaley. Welcome to another 10 years of mediocrity at One Bills Drive. The Pegula’s are looking like fools in the past 24 hours. They offer Marrone big money to stay and he leaves and they wouldn’t pay Bill Polian who didn’t want to have to hire a new coach. It makes zero sense. The Bills are once again looking like the main attraction at the clown tent of the NFL.

  3. I’m sure Marrone knew Polian wasn’t coming and decided to move on down the road. Polian probably gave Marrone a courtesy call because decisions like that aren’t made overnight. Doug leaving make more sense now Bulls fans??

  4. Pegula: “I’ll give you any amount of money you want.”

    Polian: “Great. I have the perfect GM in mind. Have you heard of my son, Chris? We are a package deal.”

    Pegula: “Hmmm, I’ll pass. I talked to a sober Jimmy Irsay, I think, and he said he would rather get arrested again than trust one more draft pick to that clown boy of yours. Say whatever you want to save face.”

  5. I sure hope that Pegula understands that when you let a winning head coach walk away, and then fail to sign the Team President that you want, that you’re really shooting craps on 2015 and beyond.

  6. We don’t need anymore dinosaurs running the team. We’ve tried that for 14 years and it hasn’t worked.

    With Polian out of the picture, the Bills can now offer an A-list free agent coach more power over roster and personnel decisions as incentive.

  7. I’m not going to bad mouth either guy, but I’m thrilled Whaley will be staying. He has his fingers on the pulse of this franchise and has added much needed talent to this roster.

    My votefor HC is Hue Jackson. He had just got the ball rolling in Oakland before getting canned and is doing well in Cinci as we speak.

    One can only hope…

  8. doggsaint: “The Pegula’s are looking like fools in the past 24 hours. They offer Marrone big money to stay and he leaves and they wouldn’t pay Bill Polian who didn’t want to have to hire a new coach.”

    I think you may have missed or misread a few postings. The Bills supposedly refused Marrone’s request to extend his contract and refused his request to extend his assistants’ contracts, and that’s why Marrone decided to exercise his option to collect $4 mil if he leaves. Nowhere has it been said that “Buffalo offered him big money to stay.”

  9. doggsaint says: ” The Bills are once again looking like the main attraction at the clown tent of the NFL.”
    No way! They are in adistant 3rd place behind NYJ and Oakland!

  10. Hopefully this puts a lot of the frank reich as HC rumors to bed. Reich is charismatic, but how a 1st yr OC that is partly responsible for the regression of a top offense to average, becomes a “top target” doesn’t really make sense to me. Reich needs to prove his offensive system can work and he could use another year or two in SD to do just that. Then he can become the next hot name with the results to back it up.

  11. Marrone bites the hand that feed him by bad mouthing the Bills organization to Polian and he walked away with $4 million dollars. How is Russ Brandon and Doug Whaley still employed by this team? Ship of fools.

  12. Polian and Cowher are both good people, but neither one is a good fit for Buffalo now. Buffalo certainly needs a new president, a new GM, and now a new coach, as well as a quarterback. What the Pagulas need to do (and please remember that this is a husband and wife team, not just Terry) need to do is

    1. Hire a president with a vision for the business that meets the Pagula’s vision, and, please G_d, make that a vision for Superbowl winning team that drives high performance financially and that broadens the brand offerings.

    2. Then they need to hire a GM and have her/him hire a coach and find a QB (working with the coach)

    They need a team that has high energy, people that are smart enough to not let their personal ego get in the way of winning and financial success.

    Frankly, I think Kim Pegula should be the president of the business. She is smart, has high energy, is committed to the long term future of the organization and is willing to learn about what she does not know about football.

    Go get a GM that is a good manager, sure football knowledge is important, not as important as being a good manager because the GM, the Coach and the QB need to be on the same page, a page that fits with the vision of the owners.

  13. If it wasn’t for Dick Lebeau returning to PIT and running the D, there would be no Cowher!

  14. Great, no one needs this windbag back in the league. I can see it now, at the end of the season he’ll go running to the competition committee again and this time demand that the league implement a new rule requiring that every team in the league must field a QB as god awful as EJ Manuel.

  15. Bill Polian is 72 years old. He is very comfortable expressing his opinions and getting handsomely paid by ESPN. Maybe he realizes that the Buffalo job would actually be a lot of hard work, considering they need a decent Head Coach and also need a QB (and they haven’t got a 1st round draft pick).
    The image of being a truly great GM will not be tarnished.

  16. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. They wouldn’t pay Polian or Marone, what makes you think they will give Cower a big pay day. These owners seem like the Wilpons. The fact that another well respected football man thinks highly of Marone is telling.

  17. Cowher will not coach again in the NFL until Coughlin retires/ is fired from the New York Football Giants. That is the only way Cowher comes back to the NFL sidelines.

  18. Not sure why the organization is allowed to remain in Buffalo. Absolute disaster from top to bottom. Moving this team to somewhere with better weather, kinder , happier people and a better economic outlook is the only logical outcome. Get the hell out of Buffalo!

  19. So a guy who spent close to 500 million over what the team was valued at is gonna close the checkbook over 10 million to a SB winning coach(if there was a chance Cowher was interested)…nice contribution to a post…and Polian turned down the job(thank the lord) because he found out he didn’t have a #1 Overall lock HOF draft pick(or solid pick with Kerry)…which is when he gets confused a la the Colts minus 4 players…

  20. If you pay a billion dollars for a franchise it doesn’t make sense to nickel and dime key management. You go out and get the best team and give them the reins. The problem with that approach is that teams make money in the NFL even when they lose. It is the ultimate risk free investment (at least it has been to this date) so you get guys with egos like Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder that don’t nickel and dime but meddle, or, franchises that do it on the cheap like Buffalo, Tennessee, and Carolina. The third tier of failure are the teams that have idiots as owners (e.g., Chicago and Jets). A good owner is one of the most underrated factors in wining in the NFL. We have had the worst (Billy Sullivan) and the best (Robert Kraft) NFL ownership in New England.

  21. My dentist, Dr. Weinberg, got a bad infection after getting bit by a patient. It was a pretty nasty bite, and he’s under a doctor’s care. He’s out of commission for a few months. He’s a swell guy.

    Did I mention he’s the coach of the local pee-wee football team? There’s hints and allegations in the Lil’ Hornets Newsletter that Bill Cowher is the leading candidate to take over.

    Fingers crossed!!!

  22. Yeah, the people calling Doug Marrone stupid for getting up out of dodge need to get a clue. He saw the writing on the wall and wisely moved on. Brandon should do the same. I would say Whaley should, but who’d hire him?

  23. Polian would not have been a worthy hire. There are better football people than him.

    Schwartz is just one Jim Harbaugh away from being lit up again. Move on!

  24. Haha Buffalo! Your team and city blows. Time to go back, I mean, REMAIN, in obscurity. Btw, the team should have moved to a major market. Buffalo is a blip on any radar.

  25. @polkhigh4life

    Polian did not take the job because the owners would not pay him what was necessary to obtain his services and because Marone opted out of his contract, who he thought highly of. The owner is incompetent, further proven by your point of him spending 500 mil over what the team is worth and now deciding to be cheap. He decides not to extend the coach’s contract who brought the team one of only 2 winning seasons in 14 years. Then, decides to low ball a well respected football man in Polian. If you see them shelling out that type of money to Cowher you are delusional. Then again, so are Bills fans for thinking this franchise is not a mess right now. Marone made the right move with the front office in chaos.

  26. @joetoronto – maybe the news is slow getting to your third world nation but the Bills are staying. Guess you haven’t heard or you were too busy watching the Argos and Leafs lose.

  27. LOL!!! Yeah , the Canada and relocation comments are a bit old and silly now. Bills not my team , but that issued was settled and resolved earlier this year. Kinda a tired joke now .

  28. “Not sure why the organization is allowed to remain in Buffalo. Absolute disaster from top to bottom. Moving this team to somewhere with better weather, kinder , happier people and a better economic outlook is the only logical outcome. Get the hell out of Buffalo!”

    You mean like Oakland??

  29. The Buffalo Bills – the organization that nearly made it appear as if Johnny Football could actually play in the NFL. Couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

  30. LOL!!! This is fun ! Now Johnny Football. In a game , as I remember , was out of reach and he was playing against some 2nd and 3rd stringers . Then got shut down and out enroute to a blow out loss. LOL!!! You guys have to really quit! LOL!!!

  31. Just wanted to point out that Polian not coming had NOTHING to do with money. He told the Buffalo News that a deal with the Bills would have been much more lucrative financially than his ESPN deal.
    Poland chose not to come because of what happened with Orton and Marrone. The job changed from a short advisory role to a longer commitment with much more work (to find a QB and coach) and he said it would have required a longer commitment than he was prepared to make.

  32. Joe in Toronto: Just how ARE your Toronto Make Beliefs doing these days? What’s that. no Stanley Cup since what, 1967, I think? No finals appearances nor conference finals appearances, I think, either. How many division banners? What ‘s that? NONE? I thought so. How many of your players have won major hardware the last couple of decades? None you say? Why I am shocked.
    How many canadians come to the BUFFALO, NY area to shop vs US shoppers going to Canada? Hmmm. Let’s look at the lines on the Peace Bridge and Rainbow Bridge, shall we?
    Dude, you guys gave us hockey, Labatts and Molson beer, plus the Canadian Ballet(Strip clubs where they take it ALL off, for those who don’t know) plus when the exchange rate was like 40%. cheap weekends in Toronto.
    So take your Bon Jovi and shove it.

  33. Buffalo wants to bring in the guy who had laces out on the Scott Norwood wide right miss in the SB.Typical move for Buffalo.The idiots on WGR55 radio will be going nuts for the next couple weeks.

  34. jrs1972, stop with all your nonsense kid. Go watch Kanye will ya. You add nothing here.

  35. Since Marrone bad-mouthed the Bills on the way out the door, the Pegulas’ legal team should look into Tortious Interference in a Business Expectation (especially in New York State). Not a bad way to tie some of that four million up. Just a thought.

  36. Report comment
    luther6 says:
    Jan 1, 2015 7:29 PM
    I used to think there were dozens of Buffalo haters on PFT. Turns out it’s just that joetoronto and ohand16 don’t have lives.


    Haha too funny! I actually noticed the same thing myself.
    JoeToronto is soo obsessed with Buffalo that I actually feel sorry for him. He must live a pretty sad life to be That obsessed with making negative comments on every single Buffalo article.

  37. alwaysisforever says:
    Jan 1, 2015 3:17 PM

    Frankly, I think Kim Pegula should be the president of the business. She is smart, has high energy, is committed to the long term future of the organization and is willing to learn about what she does not know about football.

    Frankly, I am so happy you are not a decision maker for the Bills. We are trying to get rid of a team president with no experience running a football team. the smartest thing Kim has done in here life and ‘frankly” the only thing she has done of note is to marry a very wealthy man…

  38. Why the hell would a fresh new ownership team (Kim and Terry Pegula) want a guy to RUN their football operations that considers replacing Doug Marrone and Kyle freaking terrible QB Orton “too much work”, what a recipe for disaster.

  39. Polian is 72 years old. Looks 82. Kim Pegula knows nothing about football. Terry Pegula is a Gas and Oil Fracker. The Buffalo Bills will never see a Championship this century. Neither will the Sabres. Sabres were already owned by a billionaire. Golisano. He sold them because he realized a big fat Capital Gain. Pegula’s got rich quick. A fool and his money are soon parted. $1.4 Billion for the Bills? Both teams will stew in mediocrity for decades. They should have sold them to Bon Jovi and let him take them away. You know the old expression “lipstick on a pig”? Watch, you will see.

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