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ESPN Could Offer Peyton Manning $20 Million

“Two years ago, Manning was expected to receive offers of up to $10 million annually to join Monday Night Football, but he decided against any broadcasting gig.”

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Tony Romo’s $17 million per year salary from CBS is a record deal for an NFL analyst, but it might not stand for long. According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, ESPN is prepared to offer Peyton Manning between $18 million and $20 million to join their Monday Night Football booth.

In year three of their courtship, we can officially dub Manning ESPN’s white whale. Two years ago, Manning was expected to receive offers of up to $10 million annually to join Monday Night Football, but he decided against any broadcasting gig. 

In 2019, ESPN was again rumored to want Manning for MNF. $10 million a year would have been a record for an NFL analyst as recently as a week ago, but now turning down those offers appear to have been an astute business decision.

After the success of Tony Romo’s first season as an analyst for CBS in 2017, ESPN was burned when they tried to turn Jason Witten into the next great rookie broadcaster. Witten’s one season in the booth was a failed experiment, but it hasn’t soured them on the idea of adding a first-time broadcaster. Manning has always looked comfortable in front of the camera, leading many to believe his personality and popularity can attract viewers to the broadcast regardless of the matchup on the field.

Shortly before McCarthy’s report of a $20 million offer heading Manning’s way, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post shared news that ESPN was hoping to lure both Peyton and Al Michaels to MNF. Michaels is still under contract with NBC, complicating their dream broadcast booth scenario.

It’s unclear if Manning would be interested in joining ESPN without Michaels, but $20 million per year has to at least be intriguing, even for a two-time Super Bowl champ that earned $250 million as a player. 

ESPN’s current Monday Night Football crew featuring Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland is considered to be the least appealing lead broadcast team in the NFL. ESPN’s MNF contract with the NFL is set to expire after the 2021 season, and if anything, they hope to increase their football offerings by joining the Super Bowl rotation. Having a more appealing team of broadcasters certainly won’t hurt their chances.

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Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football

“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

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While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years. 

Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.

“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”

Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.

“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck. 

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Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys

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The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.

Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.

But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.

Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.

Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:

Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.

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Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”

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Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.

The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.

Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.

“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”

Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.

“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”

He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.

Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.

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