Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that ESPN is preparing to offer Peyton Manning a record $18 million to $20 million per year to be their lead analyst on “Monday Night Football.”
This would top Tony Romo’s recent deal with CBS, which will reportedly pay him $17 million per year.
According to McCarthy, Manning met with ESPN executives over the last few days. ESPN reportedly views Manning as the ticket that could help them get back into the Super Bowl rotation and serve as their face of their TV coverage.
ESPN previously had interest in hiring Romo and McCarthy says they nearly landed him before CBS topped their offer.
Depending on what happens with Manning, McCarthy says Kurt Warner could be ESPN’s Plan B option with Louis Riddick, Matt Hasselbeck, and Dan Orlovsky viewed as internal candidates to replace Booger McFarland.
Earlier in the day, Andrew Marchand reported that ESPN would like to pair Al Michaels with Manning as its broadcast team for Monday Night Football, which would necessitate trading for Michaels from NBC.
Marchand added that ESPN has also shown interest in former Chargers QB Philip Rivers for a role in the booth. Rivers has said he intends to continue playing in 2020, but this shows he would have options if a good landing spot doesn’t emerge.
We’ll have more regarding Manning and ESPN as the news is available.