Bill Polian has had a decorated career in the NFL, both in and out of the league. After 25 years as a front office executive, Polian went to ESPN in 2012 to serve as a front office insider. Polian covered the business side of the NFL, explaining the front office details teams face like salary cap decisions and the obscure league transaction rules that fans may not be aware of.
After working with ESPN for seven years, Polian is retiring from the network. In an ESPN statement, Polian said the following:
“After talking it over with my family, we decided now is the right time to finish this chapter in my career.”
“To Seth Markman, Mike Cambareri, and all of my ESPN colleagues in front of and behind the camera, it has been an honor and a pleasure to be your teammate. Over the course of seven seasons, you collectively proved true what I had long heard: Disney really is the happiest place on earth.”
“I enjoyed every minute. You will always have my utmost respect and very best wishes for continued success.”
Polian started as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs before becoming Buffalo Bills general manager in 1986. He was the team’s GM when the Bills began their streak four consecutive Super Bowl appearances. Polian was fired after the third of those four losses.
After a short stint with the expansion Carolina Panthers and getting them to the NFC Championship Game in their second year, Polian spent the majority of his front office career with the Indianapolis Colts as GM and team president. Polian’s Colts took Peyton Manning #1 overall in his first draft, starting a turnaround for the team and transforming the Colts a contender. Polian’s time in Indianapolis was crowned with a win in Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears and an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Currently, Polian works with the AAF and Charlie Ebersol as one of the league’s co-founders and their head of football. Polian has been vocal about the new league and how it can work with the NFL, potentially as a farm system or with the NFL loaning younger, undeveloped players to the league. It seems like even though Polian is retiring from TV, he’s going all in on the AAF and spending more time there.