Is Peyton Manning the next Tony Romo? That’s apparently what ESPN and FOX are banking on.
Both networks have Manning “atop their list” to be their primetime NFL game analyst next season, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Friday, citing sources.
ESPN is courting the retired quarterback to work on its “Monday Night Football” broadcast. While Sean McDonough still is the play-by-play man, the network is considering a “total reboot” that would pair Manning with a new partner, according to Marchand, who cites Joe Tessitore, Steve Levy and Dave Pasch as possible internal candidates.
FOX, meanwhile, wants Manning to be the first analyst on its new “Thursday Night Football” telecast after signing a five-year deal in January to earn the rights to Thursday night games.
According to a “person with knowledge of Manning’s thinking,” “TNF” could be an appealing option for the 41-year-old because it wouldn’t require him to work weekends. (The “MNF” crew makes its final preparations for Monday’s broadcast over the weekend.)
Manning very easily could leave both networks out in the cold, however. The 14-time Pro Bowler has aspirations of becoming an NFL team president and part-owner, and he’s rebuffed several TV broadcast offers since retiring after the 2015 season.
Yet Manning hasn’t completely ruled out doing TV in the meantime, and it appears ESPN and FOX are putting on a full-court press to try to get him in the booth.