Jon Gruden’s move from the broadcast booth to the NFL sideline has caused a major problem for ESPN. The Worldwide Leader is left hunting for its next star analyst to place alongside Sean McDonough, but reportedly has whiffed on its top candidate.
According to Andrew Marchand of the NY Post, Manning has decided not to replace Jon Gruden as ESPN’s color analyst on Monday Night Football. The network has been in a tight battle with Fox to acquire the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.
One report stated Fox was willing to pay Manning $10 million per year. According to the report from Marchand, Fox is still in the running.
Manning has decided that if he becomes an NFL TV analyst, it will be on Fox’s new Thursday night package and not on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, sources told The Post. He is still undecided if he will work for Fox or not.
Manning, 41, has made it clear he hopes to go the route of John Elway and enter an NFL front office in the near future. What he does until then is anyone’s guess.
ESPN’s has several “fall back” options in Louis Riddick and Matt Hasselbeck, who is the favorite to land the gig after working with Sean McDonough during the Pro Bowl. The Worldwide Leader has even explored blowing up the whole Monday Night Football broadcast team and starting over.
Would you like to see Manning broadcasting games next year?