ESPN is courting the retired quarterback to work on its "Monday Night Football" broadcast.
According to Marchand, Fox has been interested in hiring Manning dating back to previous year, but ESPN appears to be making a stronger push as the network looks for a replacement for Jon Gruden.
The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported Friday that ESPN and Fox are strongly pursuing Manning but that the 14-time Pro Bowler "has been reluctant" to the idea of becoming a television analyst. Gruden was reportedly the highest-paid ESPN employee, making more than $6.5 million before leaving for a 10-year, $100 million coaching deal with the Raiders. The MMQB's Peter King reported in October "most people in football" believe Manning's future lies in an executive role with an NFL team. Play-by-play analyst Sean McDonough is now in place, but that could change by next fall.
The moving parts are interesting, and it starts with Manning and whether he'd want to do color commentary. Instead, he's said his long-term goal is to run an National Football League team one day in a role similar to John Elway does with the Denver Broncos.
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Peyton Manning's next job could be in the booth.
Asked whether the network would reach out to Manning on the remote chance he was interested, Druley said that Manning is aware of ESPN's interest but nothing beyond that at this time.
According to the Post, a new analyst might not be the only change to the Monday Night Football booth. But since retiring two years ago Manning hasn't wanted to become a broadcaster, and hasn't really landed on any post-playing career. Now that Manning is a free agent once again, he's just as sought after as before, although for an entirely different job opportunity this time around. Manning is above that.
Plus, who is to say Manning would be a great color commentator?