When a major personality leaves a major sports network, there’s usually plenty of smoke that accompanies the move.

But Colin Cowherd isn’t interested in adding fuel to the fire.

ESPN announced last Thursday that Cowherd is leaving the network later this year, and it’s reported he’ll join FOX Sports 1. Yet the longtime radio host’s show continues to air for now, and while he was absent Monday and Tuesday, Cowherd returned to “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Wednesday to explain why he’s moving on.

“By the way, (ESPN) offered me a great new contract,” Cowherd said. “Incredibly fair, could not have been more reasonable. … It wasn’t about the money, it was about the funny. I want, for the rest of my career until I quit — because I’ve seen so many guys, they get to 50, they make some money, and the quality of their stuff goes down.

“… I thought, for the best me, the most challenged me, the most inspired me, to do the best me for you, I needed a new mission.”

Cowherd went on to insist there’s no animosity between him and ESPN, expressing gratitude to the network for taking a chance on him back in 2003.

“They could have picked a million guys out of New York, or L.A., Chicago, Dallas. Many applied; it was a good job. I was told at the time it was the best syndicated radio job opening in sports in the history of the business.

“And they chose me. From a small market, nobody had heard of me. ESPN had guts, they had courage, they rolled the dice.”

Cowherd now will hedge his bets with FOX Sports 1, but at least he’s not burning any bridges on the way out.

Check out Cowherd’s full comments in the video below.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@thebiglead