ESPN wants Peyton Manning — but the future Hall of Fame quarterback is playing hard to get.
Manning turned down an offer from ESPN to work as the “Monday Night Football” color commentator according to a report from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post:
“Sources say the overriding factor was whether Manning finally wanted to enter the broadcast booth and commit to the weekly schedule in the fall. The answer remains no. Manning has declined to be an ‘MNF’ analyst on multiple occasions, turning down basically every network since he retired from the NFL in 2016.”
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While this isn’t the first time Manning has turned down ESPN — and other networks — it is the biggest offer he has declined, per Marchand.
Marchand reports that ESPN’s offer to Manning may have topped Tony Romo’s record 10-year, $140 million CBS deal, if it combined his “MNF” salary with his ESPN+ shows “Peyton Places” and “Detail.”
Earlier this month, Front Office Sports reported that ESPN was preparing to offer Manning a salary somewhere in the range of $18 million to $20 million per year.
Despite shopping for their replacements, the network has not parted ways with current “MNF” play-by-play commentator Joe Tessitore or analyst Booger McFarland, who both received heavy criticism in their rookie year on the broadcast.