TV networks have their eyes on Philip Rivers

Colts quarterback Philip Rivers knows that Sunday’s game against the Jaguars could be the last game of his career. It could open the door to a new career that, given recent trends, could be nearly as lucrative.

Michael McCarthy of reports that TV networks are eyeballing Rivers as a potential game analyst in 2021. McCarthy writes that Rivers could become a candidate for the No. 2 analyst spot at FOX, behind Troy Aikman.

Aikman has spoken openly about working for a team at some point in his career. If Aikman would leave FOX, Rivers could quickly become the FOX equivalent to Tony Romo.

Rivers was linked to ESPN before signing a one-year, $25 million deal with the Colts in free agency. ESPN had been looking to dramatically upgrade its booth, trying and failing to get Romo away from CBS and to persuade Peyton Manning to finally embrace a job he seems destined to do, and do very well.

The money is there for Rivers to do very well financially. CBS has obliterated the curve for Romo, paying him $18 million per year in order to keep him out of ESPN’s clutches.

The NFL currently is negotiating new TV deals with the various networks, and some believe an announcement regarding the next wave of contracts could come at any time. After the destination of each TV package is known, Rivers can then figure out which one — if any — best fit a life that includes being a father to nine children.

However it works out, fans would benefit from his involvement in calling games. It’s easy to compare him to guys like Romo or to all-time legends like Don Meredith, given the southern accent. But when considering the combination of knowledge, experience, passion, genuine interest in the game, work ethic, and a folksy, effervescent charm that could make words like “dadgum” and “shoot” far more popular than their four-letter counterparts, Rivers could be one of the best to ever do it — especially if Manning never does.

Heck (see?), Rivers could end up being the guy everyone has been waiting for, for more than a decade: The next John Madden.