Colts owner Jim Irsay opens up about Peyton Manning
According to Irsay, in 2004, a frustrated Polian was at wit’s end as he attempted to secure Manning’s new $98 million contract and, in a fit of pique, told Irsay, “We need to trade Peyton; we can get a bunch of defensive players and become like Tampa Bay or Baltimore.” Irsay said no. “Understand something, Bill, we are not trading Peyton Manning, period,’’ Irsay recalled telling the former team president.
First, Polian declared that "Moneyball does not work in the NFL," which would suggest there's hardly any underpaid or underappreciated talent out there to be found. Chris Harris and Tony Carter, both of whom were not invited to the national combine in their draft years, might disagree. So might Rod Smith, Wes Welker, Tony Romo, and Kurt Warner, who all went undrafted.
BTW, Manning's contract was signed in between his first pair ('03, '04) of back-to-back MVP seasons ('08, '09).