Polian signs deal to stay as Colts president into 2009

Updated: October 21, 2003, 5:25 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Colts president Bill Polian signed a five-year contract extension Tuesday that will keep him with the team into 2009.

Polian joined the Colts as president after the 1997 season, helping turn around a team that had only reached the playoffs twice since 1988.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he had no hesitation about trying to keep Polian with the team.

"I think that he's a guy that if we win a championship, he's got a shot at the Hall of Fame," Irsay said Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to seeing him continue on with us for a long time."

Polian's contract had been due to expire after the 2004 draft. Terms of the new contract were not released.

The 60-year-old Polian joined the Colts following stints as an executive with the Buffalo Bills and the Carolina Panthers.

Polian declined an interview request from The Associated Press.

The Colts have gone 44-26 since the start of the 1999 season -- the fourth-best mark in the league during that stretch -- and went to the playoffs three of the past four seasons.

Among the decisions he made with the Colts was the selection of Peyton Manning with the first pick in the 1998 draft over quarterback Ryan Leaf, who is out of football.

The next year, the Colts used the fourth overall pick on Edgerrin James, who was the NFL's leading rusher his first two seasons before a knee injury in 2001.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index