According to a report from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN is "in talks" to bring back longtime personality Chris Berman. Berman would take on an "expanded role" for the network's NFL coverage this season.
Berman isn't technically retired, but after the 2016-2017 NFL season, he accepted a reduced role. If he were to accept this expanded role, it would still be part-time. Apparently, there is interest on both sides.
Marchand reports that it was former president John Skipper who "spearheaded" Berman's reduced role. Skipper resigned last year after admitting he has an addiction problem.
Here's more on what kind of role Berman could take with the network:
There is a hope that Berman could work a quarter of the NFL season, according to sources. ESPN would want Berman for more, but in semi-retirement, Berman already has made plans for some weekends, and so that is likely unfeasible — at least for this year.
In addition to appearing on “SportsCenter” this season, Berman also could do more features and interviews to aid “Sunday NFL Countdown,” whose ratings dropped by double digits in Berman’s first year away from the program.
Berman is somewhat of a controversial figure, but you can't argue with ratings. Sunday NFL Countdown struggled without him last season.
Berman's wife Katherine passed away in a car accident in May of 2017 - just a few months into his semi-retirement.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. ESPN clearly wants to reverse course on winding down Berman's time with the network. We'll see how much he's up for.