The unexpected decision of Troy Aikman to choose ESPN over Amazon will create plenty of questions. Here’s a fairly obvious one: Where does Amazon go now?
Al Michaels, who is expected to become the play-by-play announcer for Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime, reportedly wanted Aikman as the in-booth partner. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Amazon could now turn to Rams coach Sean McVay.
Previously, Marchand reported that ESPN would be interested in McVay if McVay were to leave the Rams. However, McVay wouldn’t be interested in leaving the Rams for the mere possibility of a network gig. Someone will have to come after him aggressively, and to make him an offer he can’t refuse — and that Rams owner Stan Kroenke won’t match or exceed.
Tony Romo is making $18 million per year for a much more limited workload than the job of NFL head coach. Aikman reportedly will make as much or more from ESPN. If Amazon were to offer something similar, McVay would be foolish to not listen, especially since (at a minimum) it will get Kroenke to dig deeper into this superyacht maintenance budget.
Then there’s this factor, one that can’t be overlooked. There’s no guarantee that McVay will be good as a color commentator. He probably will be, but maybe he’ll be as stunningly bad as Joe Montana and Bill Walsh were. That makes the gamble a huge one for whoever pays McVay without knowing whether, for example, he’s capable of speaking in anything other than the single tone (excited) and single volume (loud) that is on display at his many press conferences.