ESPN once again made a run at Peyton Manning for Monday Night Football. And Manning stiff-armed them, again.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Manning has declined an opportunity to serve as lead analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
ESPN never put together a specific financial package for Manning because it never got to that point. Manning, per Marchand, simply isn’t ready to commit to the weekly grind of travel, preparation, and execution.
The inability of ESPN to secure Al Michaels’ services from NBC also may have been a factor. Manning surely won’t want to enter a broadcast booth without someone he regards to be among the very best at handling football play-by-play.
ESPN’s pursuit of Manning likely isn’t over, in part because ESPN keeps coming back to Manning on nearly an annual basis. If/when Monday Night Football slides from ESPN back to sister company ABC in 2022 (when Michaels will be a free agent), that could be the moment Manning chooses to enter the fray, given the larger platform and the iconic relationship between three-letter network and prime-time football on the first day of the work week.