Bill Polian joining ESPN as analyst

Former Indianapolis Colts vice chairman Bill Polian is joining ESPN as an NFL analyst. He will start March 12, the day before the free-agency period begins.

"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.

The Colts must decide by March 8 whether to pay Manning a $28 million bonus or release the four-time MVP, who missed all of last season after having neck surgery.

Polian and his son, then-general manager Chris Polian, were fired Jan. 2 by the Colts after they finished 2-14.

Known for his strong talent evaluations, Polian built the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Colts into Super Bowl contenders. In his 24 seasons as a general manager with Indianapolis, Carolina and Buffalo, Polian's teams made the playoffs 17 times, reached eight championship games and played in five Super Bowls.

Polian will appear on shows such as "NFL Live," "NFL 32" and "SportsCenter." He also will provide his front-office expertise to ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.