The report from Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News that Tom Jackson will leave ESPN provided some wiggle room for the veteran analyst to return to Sunday NFL Countdown for what would be his 30th season. Multiple industry sources tell PFT that the decision has been made: Jackson won’t be coming back.
As one source explained it, ESPN’s decision to bring back Trent Dilfer after his contract had expired and it appeared he would leaving arose in part from Jackson’s decision to leave.
Jackson had long been regarded as being tied at the hip with on-air partner Chris Berman. With Berman reportedly entering his last year at ESPN, it’s somewhat odd that Jackson wouldn’t want to do a victory lap with Berman.
Unless, of course, that victory lap will be all about Berman and/or consist of Berman complaining about the fact that ESPN management has apparently nudged him out.