Keyshawn Johnson returns to ESPN

Getty Images

Keyshawn Johnson wasn’t gone from ESPN for long. Via SportsBusiness Daily, he’s already back.

Displaced from ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and related platforms earlier this year, Johnson has a multiyear deal that will entail appearances on ESPN and ESPN Radio, beginning next week. Among other things, he’ll host a show on ESPN’s Los Angeles affiliate with Jorge Sedano, a development reported earlier this week by TheBigLead.com.

Johnson’s profile and pay surely will diminish, but what options did he have? With no other media outlets clamoring to hire him and Johnson likely not inclined to get a real job, making less than he was making to be seen less often and heard by fewer people is better than making nothing to be seen and heard by no one.

After nine years with ESPN, Johnson become the first known departure from Sunday NFL Countdown. He has been followed by Mike Ditka, Cris Carter, and Tom Jackson. That group was replaced by Charles Woodson, Randy Moss, Matthew Hasselbeck, and Trent Dilfer, whose contract expired but who eventually opted to return, presumably for less money than he wanted and/or less money than he previously was making.