The Monday Night Football booth is about to get a lot more powerful with its reported addition of Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman to their ranks. Sources say the retired 3x Super Bowl champ has allegedly left Fox Sports and joined ESPN’s MNF for a five-year contract that will see him pull over $90M through 2027. Those numbers surpass those of fellow retired Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo and his deal with CBS Sports, stated at $17.5M annually.
As of November 2021, reports were that Amazon pursued Aikman to man Thursday Night Football after acquiring the rights to be the NFL’s exclusive streaming service for $1B. And the tech giant already knew whom it would pair with Aikman.
“If Amazon is able to land Aikman, the Pro Football Hall of Famer would likely team with play-by-play announcer Al Michaels to form a ‘TNF’ dream team,'” wrote Mike McCarthy of Front Office Sports. Michaels’ arrangement with NBC expired this season, and it was said that he’s “90-percent likely” to start will Amazon this fall.
Aikman has been with Fox Sports for more than two decades, so his departure will leave a huge void among their roster football analysts. Furthermore, if Amazon can snag Michaels, then it would be a warm return to his MNF roots.
But rumors are that ESPN is trying to lure Aikman’s longtime announcing partner, Joe Buck. The two worked together for 20 years at Fox Sports. Though Buck still has one year remaining on his contract, Fox has no obligation to let him talk with any competitors. That said, the company may still allow him to speak with ESPN.
HOWEVER, neither ESPN Nor Aikman has yet to make any official announcement on the deal.
One person who was mentioned as a possible replacement for Aikman was Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. In 2016, he became the youngest person made an NFL head coach in the modern era, and his Super Bowl LVI victory put him in the history books a second time as the youngest head coach to win the big game.
Prior to that Sunday, McVay had begun speaking about life after football. “I know I love football, and I’m so invested in this thing, and I’m in the moment right now,” he said before Super Bowl Sunday. “But at some point, too, if you said, ‘What do you want to be able to do?’ I want to be able to have a family, and I want to be able to spend time with them.” (McVay plans to marry his fiancée Veronika Khomyn this summer.)
Given his youth and resumé, McVay could always become an analyst and return to the sidelines in the future, a la Jon Gruden. However, it looks like the 37-year-old coach is staying in L.A. to help the Rams defend their title for now.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter says McVay told him he had no current interest in going the TV route. And McVay forecasted that sentiment a few days earlier at the Super Bowl Parade when he invited the crowd to chant, “Run it back!”
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