Another big-money sweepstakes is developing in the broadcast booth, where Tony Romo will be allowed to speak with other networks in March if he’s unable to reach a new contract with CBS, according to the New York Post.
ESPN long has been considered CBS’ main competition for Romo’s services — with an eye toward using the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback as its “Monday Night Football” broadcast analyst — and it sounds like he could wind up with the richest sports commentator deal in TV history.
Sources told the New York Post that ESPN is prepared to spend “crazy money” to land more NFL and that the worldwide leader’s effort will begin with an aggressive pursuit of Romo, who has drawn rave reviews for his work at CBS alongside Jim Nantz.
Here’s more from the New York Post:
What is already certain is that Romo will surpass John Madden?s NFL TV analyst record of $8 million per year, according to sources, and will exceed $10 million. Maybe by a lot.
ESPN plans to make a serious run at Romo for ?Monday Night Football? as its heads into its NFL rights negotiations in which it hopes to add a second package of games to pair with ?Monday Night Football.? Most importantly, it wants to become part of the Super Bowl rotation.
Romo, who last played in the NFL in 2016, reportedly earned a little more than $3 million last season in the final year of his first TV contract. CBS reportedly is prepared to offer Romo a substantial raise over that figure, and the New York Post suggested Tuesday the idea of him making $12 million or more annually with his next deal is “quite plausible.”
Basically, Romo has established himself as the most coveted free agent in the broadcast realm, and his trip to the open market couldn’t come at a better time for the 39-year-old given the NFL’s looming broadcast talks, ESPN’s desire to make a splash and the current “Monday Night Football” tandem of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland receiving mostly negative reviews.
Here’s another tidbit from the Post:
This is a big reason that Romo?s salary could rise past John Madden?s 1994 analyst record of $8 million, even when adjusted for inflation, which would be $14 million.
It’s unclear where ESPN will turn its attention if it loses out on Romo, but Peyton Manning has been a popular name tossed around in speculation regarding the “Monday Night Football” booth, so maybe he’ll emerge as a potential target.