ESPN is ready to make a huge change when it comes to their NFL coverage. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports is reporting that the four-letter network is set to offer Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning a $20 million contract to be part of Monday Night Football. McCarthy said that Manning met with ESPN executives over the last few days. It wasn't revealed what the conversations were about, but Manning has worked with ESPN before as he was the host of Peyton's Places which aired on ESPN+.
This comes on the heels of Manning reportedly offered a massive deal to join the CBS broadcast team to replace Tony Romo. However, Romo was re-signed by CBS and he will make close to $18 million per season for the next five years. Manning was offered $10-12 million per year for five or six seasons.
The interesting thing about all this is the contracts for the networks that broadcast NFL games will expire soon. ESPN's contract expires after the 2021 season while CBS, Fox and NBC's contracts run through 2022. Monday Night Football's broadcast ream is Joe Tessitore and Anthony McFarland and the duo has been attacked on social media, specifically McFarland.
Manning is considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Along with winning two Super Bowls, he has won the NFL MVP award five times and he was named to the All-Pro Team 10 times. He ended his career with 71,940 passing yards, 539 touchdowns and has a passer rating of 96.5. Manning is also a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team.
Last year, Manning talked about why he didn't want to be in the broadcast booth as he turned down offers from Fox and ESPN.
"I don't want to be a critic at this point," Manning said via Restaurant Business Magazine. "I still do too many commercials."
That said, Manning could get back into football in a front-office capacity. Manning's dad, Archie, said the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback wants to either be a general manager or owner.
"Peyton, somewhere along the line, would like to be back in football — in ownership or front office or something," Archie said.
Based on his track record, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Manning succeed in the broadcast booth or in the front office.