$10 Million Club: Troy Aikman
Top-end broadcasting salaries have skyrocketed over the past few years as everyone looks to follow in the footsteps of Tony Romo. With live sports rights being some of the most valuable real estate around, broadcasting partners are suddenly willing to pay whatever it costs for the biggest names. A select few have seen their compensation rise into eight-figure territory. They are members of an exclusive group: The $10 Million Club.
Troy Aikman and Joe Buck are the new voices of Monday Night Football. Aikman spent two decades at FOX and has worked with Buck on the network's premier games since 2002 so ESPN is getting an experienced booth and that will give MNF its most gravitas since the John Madden era.
Troy Aikman ESPN Contract
Troy Aikman is making Tony Romo money as ESPN gave him a five-year deal worth $90 million. That's $18.5 per year and the current highest yearly salary of anyone who covers the NFL. It's even more than his teammate, Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Buck, who will be wearing multiple hats. As far as we can tell, Aikman doesn't have so much as a podcast pitch.
Why He's Paid the Big Bucks
Being the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback almost always pays off. Jason Garrett consistently has a high-profile coaching gig. Tony Romo walked right into the top commentator role on CBS. Drew Bledsoe has a successful winery. And Aikman has worked six Super Bowls (and counting) alongside Hall of Fame broadcaster Buck.
As an NFL quarterback, Aikman was a six-time Pro Bowler despite only throwing 20 or more touchdowns in a season once in his entire career. Guiding America's Team to three Super Bowls was more than enough. The Super Bowl XXVII MVP threw four touchdown passes in a blowout win against the Bills and that solidified his standing as one of the biggest stars in football. After 12 seasons in Dallas he retired having made $55.5 million. Like any good internship, it set him up for a much higher-paying job in the future.