Manning also ranks third in NFL history in passing yards (54,828) and touchdowns (399). But he's 35 years old, meaning the Indianapolis Colts now must think about the previously unthinkable: life without their surefire Hall of Fame quarterback.
Wyche: Life after Manning
"Quarterback's an issue, probably not a front-burner issue, but an issue nonetheless because while Peyton's not at the end of his career, it's approaching faster than it has in the past," Polian said.
The Colts own the 22nd overall pick, but Polian wouldn't fully commit to using it on a quarterback. That might be why the team looked at Dalton and Kaepernick, whom many consider to be second-round prospects at best.
"I don't know that you're going to find his eventual replacement drafting 22nd," said Polian, whose Colts have six total picks in the draft. "And whether or not you would use that choice on a quarterback in an unsettled labor situation, where you don't know what kind of contract that's going to be signed, is another issue. That said, I don't think you can dismiss it."
When to pull the trigger is the big question.
"You don't know," Polian said, "but you know it's sometime soon. You begin to think about it."