With Tony Romo staying at CBS, Peyton Manning once again becomes ESPN’s white whale.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that ESPN already has reached out to Manning’s camp to see whether he’s finally interested in taking over the lead analyst job on Monday Night Football.
Peyton has resisted ESPN’s past overtures, due in part to the fact that he didn’t want to work games involving his brother, Eli. Now that Eli is retired, that’s obviously not an issue.
And now that CBS has paid Romo $18 million per year after reportedly offering Peyton something in the range of $10 million to $12 million, Manning may want to one-up Romo in order to erase any perception that Romo is somehow more valuable or desirable.
And while ESPN isn’t a three-letter network, which means that the ratings always will be lower, there are persistent rumblings that MNF could be headed back to ABC, which would restore the platform that the game once had.
Whatever Peyton decides, it will be harder to say no this year, because CBS has unlocked a new universe of compensation for A-listers like Peyton.