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Sports Business

Bill Polian joins ESPN as full-time NFL analyst

February 29, 2012
KEYWORDS Sports Business

Former Indianapolis Colts Vice Chairman and six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian has joined ESPN as an NFL analyst.

He is scheduled to make his debut on March 12, and appear throughout the year on NFL Live, NFL32 and SportsCenter. He will also regularly contribute to ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Radio and other ESPN platforms.
Ironically, Polian was known to have a sometimes stormy relationship with the media while building football franchises in Indianapolis, Buffalo and Carolina.

Polian helped build multiple successful franchises during his 24 years as a National Football League general manager. He drafted four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning and constructed the Indianapolis Colts roster that went to the playoffs 11 times, and won eight division titles, two AFC Championship games, and was crowned champions of Super Bowl XLI.
In all, Polian’s Colts, Panthers and Bills teams made 17 playoff, eight conference championship game and five Super Bowl appearances. Widely praised as a top talent evaluator and influential executive, Polian served on multiple league committees and played a key role in formulating and implementing the NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement, which governs players’ salaries.

Polian’s ESPN role will focus on the NFL Draft, free agency and the multitude of other business-related aspects of pro football, including player transactions, trades, salary cap issues and league rules.

“Bill Polian has experienced it all during his two-and-a-half decades as a NFL general manager and team executive and we will tap into his expertise immediately on ESPN in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, free agency and arguably the biggest offseason story in years with the future of his former quarterback Peyton Manning still to be determined,” said Seth Markman, ESPN senior coordinating producer for NFL studio shows.

“[This] presents another opportunity for me to remain involved in the game I love while allowing me to view it from a different angle,” Polian said. “I hope I can bring new insight to the millions of loyal ESPN football viewers.”

Polian has been making his own headlines since being fired by the Colts owner Jim Irsay following the 2011 season. He has begun working for Sirius/XM NFL Radio and during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last week said he believes Manning will play next year if “humanly possible.”

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