Having tried a couple different ideas to fix its “Monday Night Football” broadcasting team, ESPN seems ready to throw money at the problem.
A lot of money.
Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported that ESPN was preparing an offer to make CBS’ Tony Romo the highest-paid sports broadcaster in history. McCarthy said the offer would be between $10 million and $14 million annually to attempt to lure him from CBS. That report broke the same day Romo was calling the Houston Texans-Kansas City Chiefs playoff game for CBS. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post also reported Sunday that ESPN was expected to go “all in” for Romo.
To put that in perspective, the largest base salary Romo ever made as Dallas Cowboys quarterback was $8.5 million, according to Spotrac.
Would CBS match the offer to keep Tony Romo?
CBS will have a conundrum if the salary offer from ESPN to Romo is accurate and is officially offered.
Romo became the hottest announcer in sports after CBS lured him away from the playing field and put him right on their No. 1 broadcast team with Jim Nantz. Romo’s enthusiasm and ability to predict plays was a hit with fans. He quickly became a star in the field.
CBS doesn’t want to lose Romo, but it would be hard to match an eight-figure annual salary. If Romo does switch networks, it would create a huge shift in the sports broadcasting world.
Romo could solve Monday night issue
While the most obvious move with Romo would be to use him on the “Monday Night Football” broadcast and replace Booger McFarland, Front Office Sports said that ESPN could use him elsewhere in their NFL coverage if it acquires Sunday afternoon games in the NFL’s next television contracts.
If Romo replaces McFarland, most fans would probably approve. When Jon Gruden left the “MNF” booth to coach the Oakland Raiders, Jason Witten became the color commentator with McFarland providing analysis from the field. Witten went back to play with the Cowboys after being criticized for his work on ESPN, and McFarland moved to the booth. McFarland was mostly panned in his new role.
ESPN has wanted to make a splash since Gruden left. The dream has been to get Peyton Manning into the booth, but he has resisted that. Landing Romo would be a big, albeit expensive, move.
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