Bill Polian, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning (Source: eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com)

Peyton Manning on firing of Bill Polian: "I'm very surprised and shocked"


Everyone knew heads would roll once the season ended for the 2-14 Indianapolis Colts, but most thought it would be head coach Jim Caldwell that would become the fall guy after such a miserable year.

Instead, at least for now, Caldwell is safe and Irsay decided to lay blame elsewhere.

Today the Indianapolis Colts owner fired his longtime personnel executive and friend Bill Polian. He didn’t stop there though as Irsay also fired general manager Chris Polian, Bill’s son.

The Colts are now “Polian-less” as they face an uncertain future, what to do with the first overall pick and more importantly an aging Peyton Manning with an upcoming whopper of a pay check.

For now though Manning has been given a guarantee of sorts, that he will be with the team in 2012, all be it likely with a promising rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck nipping at his heels.

Manning was also taken back by Polian’s release, considering he has been a part of the Colts front office throughout Manning’s entire career.

I was surprised, shocked, disappointed, It’s a sad day, and it’s the worst part about this business. I’m sorry that it went down this way. I always thought Bill and I might retire around the same time. You kind of hoped for that fairy-tale ending, after winning a Super Bowl.

On top of dealing with Manning the Colts must decide on what to do with several upcoming free agents.

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, defensive end Robert Mathis, and center Jeff Saturday headline a group of many more Colts players that could have a new home in 2012.

Caldwell might still be on his way out too, and perhaps most of the coaching staff.

Life without Peyton Manning this season was a wake up call for Irsay, a small glimpse into the future of what the Colts could be in the post Manning era.

Changes had to be made, whether friends or not.

Tags: 2011 NFL Season 2012 Nfl Draft 2012 Nfl Season Andrew Luck Bill Polian Chris Polian Fired Indianapolis Colts Jim Caldwell Jim Irsay Peyton Manning