Eventually, ESPN (or ABC) will make a big-splash hire for Monday Night Football. Until then, ESPN needs a crew to work the games.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that a three-man weave of Steve Levy, former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky (pictured), and former NFL defensive back/personnel executive Louis Riddick have emerged as the top candidates to get the assignment in 2020.
Another possibility would be the shifting of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit to Monday nights. ESPN, per Marchand, is wary of taking their top college team away from the college game.
If, however, there’s no college football in 2020 but the NFL finds a way to play (a distinct pandemic possibility), Fowler and Herbstreit would make the most sense.
The current team of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland haven’t been told they won’t be back. However, they both know (along with anyone else who is paying attention) that ESPN has been trying to hire new staff. ESPN originally wanted to snarf Tony Romo from CBS (it didn’t work), it then tried to bogart a dream booth of Al Michael and Peyton Manning (NBC wouldn’t trade Al), and finally whiffed again on getting Manning to sign on.
Many believe that MNF is headed back to ABC under the next wave of broadcast deals. For the Monday night package, that begins in 2022. It’s possible that ESPN will simply tread water for the next two years before sister company ABC unveils an A-team for the triumphant return MNF to the three-letter network where it got started.