INDIANAPOLIS — Bill Polian is a lifer. He has spent the large bulk of his 75 years on this Earth playing, coaching, working in a front office or analyzing football. He is a Pro Football Hall of Famer who won a Super Bowl and has been to five others. Four of those appearances in the big game came during his time as the Bills' general manager.
During Polian's tenure in Buffalo, he had a pretty good backup quarterback. You may have heard of him, Frank Reich. Former Eagles offensive coordinator, now head coach of the Colts. Reich engineered one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history, stepping in for an injured Jim Kelly and bringing the Bills back from a 32-point deficit in 1993. Reich served as Kelly's backup for nine seasons, Polian's entire time in Western New York.
Polian values a quality backup. And he thinks the Eagles should set their asking price very high for Nick Foles.
"I would not accept anything but a premium package," Polian said Thursday at the Combine. "Which means a one or ones (first-round picks) plural.
"RG3 went for two ones and two twos. Nick Foles ought to be in that area if you're trading him away."
Carson Wentz's injury plays a role in Polian's thinking.
The Eagles have cap issues and do not own a second- or a third-round pick in April's draft. Moving a "backup" would seem tempting but this isn't any old backup and Polian cautions against the lure of trading Foles for picks.
"I've heard this argument from the armchair general managers, if you will, that you have to get something for him," Polian said. "[Foles] is an icon in Philadelphia. So be very careful how you handle that, Howie knows that, Doug knows that, Jeffrey Lurie knows that.
"You're getting something if you keep him, you're getting a $7 million insurance policy that's the best insurance policy in football. How did [gathering draft picks] work out in Cleveland? You guys have the trophy."