It seems that something which occurred last season, possibly could have happened nearly a decade ago. Peyton Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts around this time last year, but it may have been that former general manager Bill Polian, was possibly willing to let Manning leave the Colts way before that. Neither man is with the Colts now, but one can always wonder what might have been, if Manning was indeed traded a long time ago.
During a interview with columnist Bob Kravitz from the Indianapolis Star, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay stated that Polian actually brought up the idea of trading Manning in 2004. At the time, Manning and the Colts were in debates over a contract extension. Polian, upset with the frustrations over the contract stalemate, mentioned to Irsay that the Colts should consider trading Manning. Polian offered up the option of trading Manning for a slew of defensive players. Irsay obviously vetod that idea, and the rest is history.
Manning ended up with a $98 million contract, and remained a Colt until the soap opera-style drama that surrounded his departure on March 6th of last year. Manning threw a NFL-record 49 touchdowns during the season following his contract extension, racking up his second consecutive NFL MVP award, as well. Manning would go on to win four total MVP awards as a Colt, more than any player in NFL history. The Colts also appeared in two Super Bowls with Manning, coming out victorious in Super Bowl XLI.
Polian was dismissed from the Colts in January of last year, and is now an analyst for ESPN. In hindsight, Polian’s idea to dismiss Manning prior to the prime of his career seems shockingly ludacris. Irsay must have thought very little of trading Manning at the time, as well. Still, we can all now sit around and think what may have been.