Peyton Manning might make a lot of money in football without working on Sundays.
FOX and ESPN both are willing to pay the former NFL quarterback $10 million per year to work as an analyst on their “Thursday Night Football” and “Monday Night Football” broadcasts, respectively, Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy reported Wednesday, citing sources. The networks hope Manning’s broad appeal will help boost sagging ratings and expect he’d have the same impact as Tony Romo had on CBS’ broadcasts.
“Peyton Manning is Tony Romo with a Super Bowl ring,” a source told McCarthy. “This is a battle for the Midwest. He’s super-popular in the Midwest. He’s got this ‘Aw Shucks,’ thing down pat. The Mannings are the first family of football.”
The reported figure the networks might offer Manning dwarfs the $6.5 million ESPN paid Jon Gruden to analyze “Monday Night Football” games. Gruden was ESPN’s highest-paid employee before he left earlier this year to coach the Oakland Raiders.
FOX wants to form a so-called “dream team” of analysts, with Troy Aikman working its Thursday pregame show before handing off duties to Manning and Joe Buck, who would call the action, The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported Monday, citing officials with knowledge of the network’s plan.
ESPN has designs of disrupting FOX’s plan, but the decision ultimately will be Manning’s. The legendary quarterback hasn’t decided whether he’ll pursue broadcasting, team administration or something else entirely.
Whatever he does, Manning likely will be compensated handsomely.
Thumbnail photo via Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports Images