Published February 29, 2012
Polian will be a regular panelist on "NFL Live," "NFL32" and "SportsCenter"
ESPN hired former Colts Vice Chair Bill Polian to be an on-air NFL analyst. He starts March 12, the first day of NFL free agency, and will focus on the NFL Draft, free agency and the business of the NFL. "We will tap into his expertise immediately on ESPN in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft, free agency and arguably the biggest offseason story in years with the future of his former quarterback Peyton Manning still to be determined," Seth Markman, ESPN Senior Coordinating Producer for NFL studio shows, said in a statement. Polian will be a regular panelist on "NFL Live," "NFL32" and "SportsCenter." He also will contribute to ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio. Polian is not the first front office exec to appear on ESPN, as the net features former Dolphins Exec VP/Football Operations Bill Parcells and former Packers VP Andrew Brandt. Polian becomes ESPN's 26th on-screen NFL analyst. ESPN had 27 at the beginning of last season, but opted not renew contracts for Jon Ritchie and Kordell Stewart. Markman said ESPN will especially rely on Polian to provide analysis for player transactions. "The NFL is such a year-round sport that we thought we could use help from a front-office perspective," Markman said. "During the free agent frenzy, we break a lot of stories and we analyze where players can fit in. Polian can speak to why teams are going after certain players. Getting a perspective on a team's philosophy is huge." Polian did not audition for ESPN, which heard tapes from radio shows he has hosted on Sirius XM Radio. "We've interviewed him on camera before, and he was good," Markman said.