The Washington Football Team hired Chris Polian as its director of pro personnel, adding a new face to a front office that has undergone extensive alterations this offseason. The team’s football operations, overseen by coach Ron Rivera, now features four personnel executives with general manager or assistant GM experience.
In January the team hired Martin Mayhew as GM, tabbed former Panthers GM Marty Hurney as executive vice president of football/player personnel, and promoted Eric Stokes, a former Miami Dolphins assistant GM, to director of player personnel.
Polian boasts 24 years of NFL scouting and personnel experience, including three seasons as the Indianapolis Colts’ vice president and general manager. He takes a title last held by Alex Santos, but his role could differ in Washington’s new front office structure. Santos was fired in July after he was accused of making inappropriate advances toward female employees and two female sportswriters.
Polian, 49, most recently spent seven seasons (2013-19) as the director of pro personnel for the Jacksonville Jaguars and helped acquire Pro Bowlers Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and A.J. Bouye.
He began his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, as a personnel assistant from 1994 to ‘97, then joined the Indianapolis Colts, starting as director of pro scouting (1998-2000) before moving up to assistant director of football operations (2001-03), assistant GM/football operations (2004), VP of football operations (2005-09), and VP and GM (2009-11). He was an executive scout for the Atlanta Falcons in 2012.
A New York native and graduate of John Carroll University, Polian is the son of Bill Polian, the former NFL executive and Pro Football Hall of Famer. Bill Polian was GM of Bills when they drafted Mayhew in the 10th round in 1988, and was later GM of the Panthers and Colts during his son’s tenure with each team. (Bill was the Colts’ president when Chris was their GM.) In their 13 seasons together in Indianapolis, the Colts compiled a 143-81 regular season record with seven divisional titles and a Super Bowl XLI win.