ESPN admits it will “talk to” Peyton Manning about Monday Night Football

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Jon Gruden’s decision to return to the Raiders has created a vacancy at the top job for ESPN: Monday Night Football lead game analyst. And ESPN has acknowledged that it will throw a harpoon in the direction of sports broadcasting’s white whale.

“We like Peyton Manning,” ESPN executive Stephanie Druley tells Richard Deitsch of SI.com. “And we would be foolish not to talk him.”

Talking to him and hiring him are two very different propositions. The first question is whether Manning wants to do it. The biggest question is how much he’d want for it.

If they can’t get Manning, the clubhouse in-house leader seems to be Matthew Hasselbeck, who is replacing Gruden during this weekend’s Pro Bowl.

“We are considering Matt, for sure,” Druley told Deitsch. “I would not consider the Pro Bowl an audition per se. When we hired Matt a few years ago there were other networks that wanted Matt as a game analyst. I expect Matt to be very good this and he will certainly be considered.”

Whether it’s Hasselbeck or someone else currently employed by ESPN, the network has no qualms about plucking someone from the Sunday studio show.

“If the person is sitting on the Countdown set right now who is the best fit for Monday Night Football, we will figure out what happens next,” Druley told Deitsch.

The best play could be to cast the widest possible net, spending the money necessary to make what would be received as an inspired hire, and not simply the winner of an on-campus “pick me” contest.

39 responses to “ESPN admits it will “talk to” Peyton Manning about Monday Night Football

  1. “The first question is whether Manning wants to do it.”

    Manning’s made over 1/4 of a billion dollars. Why would he want to do anything but enjoy that money the rest of his life? Especially if the option was working for the lie and plagiarism machine at the worldwide joke of sportscasting?

  2. Peyton is the true GOAT. He beat Patriots last 3/4 times in AFCCG and has better playoff stats than Brady. Peyton finally had a defense that Brady had his entire career. Plus Brady has the best coach in the game and always top special teams.

    No one does more with less than Peyton. Take Belichick off NE and Brady isn’t as good. Put Peyton on NE and they wouldn’t have gone 10 years without a Super Bowl.

    Plus Peyton never cheated.

  3. Please god no. The guy is already on my tv screen enouugh as is. And, I lost all respect for him, beyond endorsing the bad pizza and dopey insurance commercials with that lame country music dork.

    He used PEDs, and pulled a gutless Clemens move by blaming his wife to hide being HIPPA, making fools of NFL customers.

    I would have had more respect if he had said he used prior to 2014 and before testing started just to rehab from his neck injuries.

    Go away already.

    You were never as great as Brady. Ever.

  4. Wait, so Peyton will do commentary on the game AND be in every commercial on every commercial break in between? It’s like they want to drive viewing figures down.

  5. I gotta admit, if you really think about Peyton with Belichick, that would be more scary than Brady + Dungy/Mora/Caldwell/Fox/Kubiak.

  6. ESPN is considering Peyton because of how successful Romo was this year, especially calling plays at the line before they happened. ESPN would hope Peyton would bring the same type of personality and insight to MNF. And with Disney going for the Thursday night package for ABC, Peyton would get two games a week through most of the season.

    ESPN/ABC – we don’t need the next Madden, but we do need the next Summerall. Find the right play-by-play announcer and the analyst will be better just for being in the same booth.

  7. Theevidencesaysotherwise says:
    January 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Peyton is the true GOAT. He beat Patriots last 3/4 times in AFCCG and has better playoff stats than Brady.
    ———————

    I don’t know, 5-7 sounds better than 2-3 to me, and that is the only postseason stat that really matters. Manning does have a way higher losing percentage than Brady, so I will give him that one.

  8. NO Manning on MNF, PLEASE!

    Forget about his football career; we’re not discussing Manning vs Brady, or the “who’s-the-greatest-quartterback” here. Apart from the fact I personally think he’s a sleazy, two-faced opportunist, there are practical issues to consider, not the least of which is that Peyton speaks like he has a mouthful of ball bearings. Kinda cute for some folks I guess, but he’s already overexposed and I personally wouldn’t spend a penny on any product he endorses. Further, he’s a pedantic and arrogant
    “teacher” type who goes into lecture mode and talks DOWN to people. He must bore his own self silly. Having to listen to that “Aw shucks” accent and the garbled speech every Monday night would be cruel and unusual punishment. And I’ve done nothing to be punished for. Well, not as far as MNF anyway!

    I also vote “NO” on Hasselback. Seems like a decent guy, but Sean McDonough is already the most boring broadcaster in football and pairing him with Hasselback would be like giving away free Quaaludes. The NFL could get away with anything in the second half because their target audience would be asleep.

    Why is it so hard for ESPN to find the next great “color-guy,” the next John Madden

  9. tootitan says:
    January 23, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    NO Manning on MNF, PLEASE!

    I completely agree with you on all your points on Manning – absolutely the last guy I would want to see on TV calling football games. Plus, I don’t think his ego (which he tries very hard to hide) will fit into the studio.

  10. Theevidencesaysotherwise says:
    January 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Peyton…has better playoff stats than Brady.
    _____________________________________________

    Brady will have to play a long time to catch up to Manning’s 9 playoff one and dones that’s for sure.

  11. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Bring in Jay Cutler. He would be much more interesting as an announcer than Manning.

  12. I enjoy the style Tony Romo has brought to the analyst’s role. Instead of diagraming routes during a replay he actually gives us a quarterback’s perspective BEFORE the ball is snapped. In the AFCCG, he made a comment during the Jags last possession – something like ‘come with your best 3rd down play now (it was second down) because 3rd down defense will be more exotic. Blake would know his contingencies on their best play’.

    It would be great to have a defensive minded analyst to comment on what the defense might be thinking BEFORE the ball is snapped.

  13. Manning doesn’t have the voice for it. He sounds like he is talking through a 6 foot long piece of drain pipe. I won’t be able to listen to that for 3 hours. Not that I tune into MNF unless my team is playing anyway. I guess it’ll be mute button and radio for play by play.

  14. meadowlandssports says:
    January 23, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    ESPN is considering Peyton because of how successful Romo was this year, especially calling plays at the line before they happened. ESPN would hope Peyton would bring the same type of personality and insight to MNF. And with Disney going for the Thursday night package for ABC, Peyton would get two games a week through most of the season.

    ESPN/ABC – we don’t need the next Madden, but we do need the next Summerall. Find the right play-by-play announcer and the analyst will be better just for being in the same booth.
    ================
    ABC already pulled out of the race to get the Thursday night games.

  15. Hello Archie — so nice to see you on the PFT board. I do hope you are able to find Eli another safe landing spot.

    And while we are comparing career stats, should we look at Super Bowl appearances?
    While Eli is an impressive 2-0 in Super Bowls, Peyton is a pedestrian 2-2
    Brady is 5-2 and about to participate in his eighth Super Bowl, that is two more than the Three Quarterback Manning Family….I believe you said once “If we’ve been to six Super Bowls as a family, that means we won six Championship Games” while that is certainly something to be proud, Brady is on to his eighth Super Bowl, thus he has just won his eighth Championship game. Peyton is not greater than TB12.

    (and Peyton used HGH to recover from surgery and pinned it on his wife — to throw his wife under the bus is disgraceful and I am still shocked Ms. Olivia let that happen).

    ************************************************************************************************************************
    Theevidencesaysotherwise says:
    January 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    Peyton is the true GOAT. He beat Patriots last 3/4 times in AFCCG and has better playoff stats than Brady. Peyton finally had a defense that Brady had his entire career. Plus Brady has the best coach in the game and always top special teams.

    No one does more with less than Peyton. Take Belichick off NE and Brady isn’t as good. Put Peyton on NE and they wouldn’t have gone 10 years without a Super Bowl.

    Plus Peyton never cheated.

  16. That’s one of those jobs that would probably be fun the first time or two but then would become a chore very quickly. Too much travel and it’s all the same. Hard to imagine Manning would be into that.

  17. He certainly can talk about coverage. Auto, home, life, RV, you name it and he knows about coverage for it.

  18. They will never ask Brady to do this. Being a system QB doesn’t require acquiring a lot of football knowledge. The sytem does that for you. So Brady wouldn’t even be able to do what Romo is doing as far as analyzing and calling plays in the game.

  19. @ mypostsalwaysseemtogetdeleted says:
    (and Peyton used HGH to recover from surgery and pinned it on his wife — to throw his wife under the bus is disgraceful and I am still shocked Ms. Olivia let that happen).

    —-
    Pretty simple about Mrs. Manning, she’s smart enough to know how well her shoes fit and where her bread is buttered.

  20. Considering Peyton’s treatment of Dr. Jamie Naughright, something that should have been treated as criminal sexual assault — he’s got no business showing his face in public, let alone appearing in TV commercials.

    Then again, the NFL don’t seem to mind having Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis representing their brand.

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