One piece of the NFL broadcasting puzzle fell into place this afternoon as Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Kevin Burkhardt will be the man to replace Joe Buck in Fox Sports' No. 1 broadcast booth. From everything we heard, Fox was never interested in going big-name hunting when it became clear Buck was leaving for ESPN. The network turned down Al Michaels and chose to stay in-house with Burkhardt.
Now the question is who will replace Troy Aikman and line up alongside Burkhardt on Sunday afternoons? Greg Olsen is the popular name in the clubhouse. He had a good first year with Burkhardt as Fox's No. 2 booth and it would continue the trend of Fox sticking with broadcasters already on the roster after turnover at the top. It is obviously a crucial decision for numerous reasons, but especially so for this upcoming season because Fox will be broadcasting Super Bowl LVII.
But, according to Marchand, Olsen is not a shoe-in for the position. Fox will consider all its options -- and even tried to go after Tom Brady to join the booth before the quarterback announced his decision to return to the NFL for another year. Per the New York Post:
Whom Burkhardt will team with on the No. 1 NFL team remains to be seen. A leading candidate is Greg Olsen. In a well-received rookie year, Olsen partnered with Burkhardt on Fox’s No. 2 team behind Buck and Aikman.
While Olsen is a top candidate, he is not guaranteed the spot, as Fox has been determined to look at all candidates. It made overtures to Tom Brady, according to sources, prior to Brady returning to football.
This isn't exactly a shock. Brady, like Peyton Manning before him, was set to be the new white whale of broadcasting. Every NFL rightsholding network would have made "overtures" in the three weeks Brady was done. Even if he was not interested, as all other reports suggested, it's worth a shot because the pay-off would be massive if he agreed to come aboard. His level of fame and brand recognition is in rarefied air, even for the most popular sport in the country.
That is all on the backburner now as Brady prepares for another NFL season. Maybe he'll think differently about broadcasting after his second retirement. Fox will likely come calling again.