Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 5/29/12
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It was a perfect storm of bad that ushered out Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, and of course, Peyton Manning in addition to many others of the "old era." Manning's neck injury combined with Joseph Addai's injury plus a little bad luck ultimately brought the Colts to 2-14 finish and the worst record in the NFL, earning them the number one overall draft pick and the right to draft Andrew Luck. Former Colts GM Bill Polian tells Sports Illustrated's Peter King, however, that if the new NFL trade deadline, which begins this season, had been in place, there's a very good chance that the Colts recent history, and probably the destiny of the franchise, would have been forever altered. NFL owners voted this off season to move the trade deadline back two weeks, from the end of week six to the end of week eight. According to Polian, had that option been available last season, the Colts would have pulled the trigger on a trade that would have brought Kyle Orton to Indianapolis to finish out the season at quarterback. "I think the deadline being moved last year would have made a difference for us,'' said Bill Polian. "We would have rekindled our interest in Orton. In Week 6, we knew our quarterback situation wasn't great, but after a couple more weeks, we realized the situation was bad. We probably would have called Denver, who'd gone to [Tim] Tebow by then, and said, 'Hey, we'll give you a three [a third-round draft choice] for Orton.' '' King talked to Denver officials who confirmed they would have likely accepted such an offer for Orton, whom they later cut. Had the Colts secured Orton when they were 0-8, it's very likely they would have won more than two of their final three games. Orton caught on with the Kansas City Chiefs and started their final three games and won two of them, including a victory over the then undefeated Green Bay Packers. It's not unlikely that Orton could have won both games the Colts lost against a hapless Jacksonville team where all the Colts needed was simply a semblance of an passing attack. Had that happened, Colts history would have been changed. The Colts would have finished 4-12, not only out of the running for Andrew Luck, but also out of the RGIII derby. That would have meant the return of Peyton Manning. It most likely would have meant the return of the Polians and Jim Caldwell as well. Whether it meant the Colts would have kept Addai or Dallas Clark is unclear. Almost certainly they would have made a strong bid to retain Jacob Tamme at tight end. And given the offer Pierre Garcon received, it's possible he might have taken less to have stayed in Indianapolis and play with Manning. That opens up a whole lot of other speculation. The Colts would have likely picked fourth, behind St. Louis, Minnesota and Jacksonville (King incorrectly had the Colts fourth, but forgot the two wins over the Jaguars would have elevated their draft position). In that scenario, with both Luck and Griffin III on the table and all three of the teams ahead of the Colts with young quarterbacks, who would have traded up for Luck and Griffin? Certainly we know the Redskins would have. We also know that the Browns and Dolphins tried to do so this year. What a colossal bartering session that would have been. Would the Colts have been involved, perhaps trying to trade picks to acquire RGIII to succeed Manning? More likely the Colts would have went after Alabama's Trent Richardson to give Manning a home run running threat in the twilight of his career. Two weeks would have made a huge difference to the Colts last year. Will the movement of the trade deadline to week eight this year change some other team's destiny? Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101. var switchTo5x=true; stLight.options({publisher:''});
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