ESPN has been searching for a big-name analyst for Monday Night Football since Jon Gruden left to return to coaching in January of 2018. The network has chased several big names to no avail. It appears the four-letter has finally harpooned its big whale.
The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reports Troy Aikman is close to leave Fox Sports for ESPN. While a deal isn't done yet, Marchand's sources expect it to be finalized. Amazon has also been chasing Aikman.
Here's what Marchand's report says about the potential move and Aikman's likely compensation:
Aikman’s deal is not completed yet, but there is an expectation that it will be finalized. Aikman has also been courted by Amazon.
The exact figures of Aikman’s deal are not yet fully finalized, but for him to leave Fox it is expected to be comparable to or exceed Tony Romo’s 10-year $180 million deal with CBS.
Wow, that is big-time money for the 55-year-old former Pro Bowler.
Aikman is just the latest in a line of big-name analysts ESPN has chased. Both Tony Romo and Peyton Manning were pursued heavily, only for Romo to ink a huge deal to stay with CBS and Manning to start the ManningCast. For the last four seasons, Monday Night Football has been without a marquee name in the booth.
If the deal with Aikman does get completed, it will be fascinating to see who ESPN pairs him with. Al Michaels is currently a free agent, and what a blockbuster duo that would be. That said, Amazon has long been in pursuit of Michaels and that might be a done deal.
Aikman has been working with Joe Buck for roughly 20 years. The two are close friends as well as broadcast partners. It will be strange seeing him on a call with someone else.
In the end, ESPN has been searching for a huge name to put in Monday Night Football. If the Aikman deal gets across the goal line, the network will have finally accomplished that goal.