ESPN announces Rex Ryan hire

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The four-letter network officially has added an artisan of four-letter words.

Rex Ryan is joining ESPN; the announcement came Monday. The former Bills and Jets coach will make appearances on Sunday NFL Countdown. He also will contribute to SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, “and more.” (The announcement says nothing about Rex being involved with ESPN’s Monday Night Football coverage.)

While his normal assignment will start in September, Ryan will also call the Florida State spring game for ESPN on Saturday.

“Rex is authentic — what you see is what you get, and that will be great for our viewers on Sunday NFL Countdown,” ESPN senior coordinator producer Seth Markman said. “We also look forward to the insight and perspective he will bring to the show as an NFL coach who has worked in the league for two decades.”

Some (me) wonder whether Ryan’s style will translate to TV as well as most (pretty much everyone else) assumes. There’s a chance that Ryan will have a fairly narrow repertoire, eventually coming off as a pull-string doll having a collection of five or six standard phrases, not including five or six of George Carlin’s seven dirty words.

Ryan will be working essentially for free, at least for three years. His contract with the Bills has three years left, at $5.5 million annually. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Ryan will be making substantially less than that (substantially less than that) with ESPN. The ESPN compensation will reduce Buffalo’s payments to Ryan on a dollar-for-dollar basis.