Count Rich Gannon among those surprised by Tom Brady’s forthcoming career pivot.
FOX Sports announced earlier this week that Brady will join the network as its top NFL game analyst once his playing career is over.
Gannon, a former NFL quarterback who called games for CBS for more than 15 years, couldn’t believe it.
“Never in a million years did I think he’d be going this way,” Gannon told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “You get a sense with different people when you go around and visit with them. Some guys are curious. Peyton (Manning) was curious, he’d ask questions and stuff about the role and the job, the responsibilities, the schedule. I never got the sense Tom was even interested in that. I never got the sense he would be interested in getting into coaching or the front office.”
Gannon expected Brady to “focus on his businesses and his family” in retirement and “just get away” from football. There also have been rumors about the 44-year-old potentially buying an ownership stake in an NFL team, with the Miami Dolphins often mentioned as a prime candidate.
“But it’s a pretty good gig,” Gannon said of Brady’s role with FOX. “There’s not a lot of them. And if you can get one of those big chairs, honestly, it’s a good life. You can work from home during the week, and it’s a little bit of a grind during the season, but it keeps you around the game and it’s a pretty good transition. Not a lot of people have that opportunity.”
The paycheck isn’t too shabby, either. Brady’s FOX contract reportedly is a 10-year deal worth a record-setting $375 million, giving him a higher annual salary than the previous two highest-paid analysts (Tony Romo and Troy Aikman, at $18 million apiece) combined.
Brady won’t actually start that job until 2023 at the earliest, as he has committed to playing at least one more season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The former New England Patriots star is coming off an excellent 2021 campaign in which he set a career high in passing yards, threw for 43 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and finished second to Aaron Rodgers in NFL MVP voting.