Polian: Colts not waiting for Brady deal


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For quite some time, the idea has been out there that the camps of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and the teams they play for were engaged in a high-stakes game of contract chicken.

Colts GM Bill Polian doesn’t agree, and obviously, he’d know. Speaking to Sirius NFL Radio hosts Adam Schein and Rich Gannon this afternoon, Polian was asked directly if the Colts were keeping an eye on Brady’s contractual situation in New England. The answer was just as direct.


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“No,” Polian responded. “No, we’re not. We really don’t do much of that anyway, but we’ve been clearly focused here on what we do for Peyton and how he fits for us, and it really has no bearing on what anyone else does.”

At Jim Kelly’s golf tournament in Upstate New York yesterday, Polian told the Associated Press he thought a deal was likely, though it would be challenging in the uncertain labor climate.

But Polian added on Sirius today that the potential tumult that lies ahead is actually a motivator to talk now, and keep talking, rather than to just sit and see what happens before moving seriously in negotiations.

“I don’t think you play the waiting game,” Polian said. “I think what you do is cover as much ground as you can, both conceptually in form, and in the way you’re gonna deal with various parts of the contract. And then the hope is to get as much information as time goes on as possible, so that when you get to the last throes of it, you’re able to just plug the numbers in, in the sense that you’ve covered lots of ground beforehand.

“That’s our objective, both Tom Condon and myself, going forward. So we’ll have those conversations, we’ll cover a lot of ground, but I don’t think you should stop dead in the water. That doesn’t make sense. But the further we get toward next March probably the more we’ll know about how the labor situation shapes up.”


But while the assumption has been that the team and player want to get something done before camp starts, Polian wasn’t about to set a timeframe for the deal to get done.

“There isn’t any timeframe,” Polian said. “We’ve done Peyton’s contract at the end of the season. … If I’m not mistaken, we actually franchised him once (they did, in 2004). We’re used to that. There’s nothing out of the ordinary there, at least in the way that Tom and I have operated.

“So we’ll cover the ground we need to cover, and we’re aware of the calendar, we know what the issues are. That won’t be a problem.”

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They also, it seems, won’t be afraid to commit long-term — “I think it’s safe to assume, please god, that barring any serious injury he plays until he’s 40,” Polian said. “I think that’s true and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s well-aware of Brett (Favre’s) records.”

But as for stumbling blocks, even if he speaks with more certainty and detail, Polian’s refrain is similar to the one coming out of Foxborough. It’s complicated, because of the CBA, but he doesn’t have any reason to believe this won’t happen.

“It is always difficult to do in that you are talking about astronomical numbers,” Polian said. “That said, the more difficult part of it is not know what the labor situation will be going forward. That’s the hard part, because you don’t know that a contract you would do today would fit under the system tomorrow.

“That’s where you gotta be not only creative, but clairvoyant. And I’m not clairvoyant.”

OK, so now that we know Polian and Manning and everyone out there aren’t peeking around the corner to see what Brady and Co. are doing (if we assume they’re being forthright), the question becomes whether or not TB12 and the Patriots are checking out what’s going on with Peyton’s deal. Time will tell.