The NFL Broadcasting Sweepstakes Are On

NFL free agency is open for business in just two weeks. Big names like Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers lead this year’s pool of players who could land new big deals. Everyone is clamoring to see where the big names will go. Even though players won’t be able to sign new contracts until March 18th, a major deal has already been signed.

Tony Romo inked a new deal extending his tenure with CBS through the 2022 season, earning $17 million per year. That’s more than he ever earned per year on any contract he had when he played in the NFL. Romo was the hot new voice in NFL broadcasting when he started in 2017. The rookie broadcaster replaced the veteran Phil Simms who had sat beside Jim Nantz for years. Simms was boring in his delivery of analysis and often plainly expressed bias when certain teams were playing. Romo brought a new enthusiasm and ability to predict what was coming we hadn’t seen in the booth in a while. Fans were ecstatic when Romo’s talents in the booth were heard.

Now, another broadcasting free agent deal is in the works to rival the Nantz-Romo pair and shake up the broadcasting status quo.

Peyton is known as a master of the game. No one saw the field better than when he was under center. He already has his own show on ESPN breaking down certain player’s games, so why not put him in the national spotlight? After CBS inked Romo, ESPN saw what it would cost to sign a big name. And it looks like they’re not going to simply back down.

It appears Tony’s reign as the highest paid broadcaster may be brief. 

Al Michaels is known for some of the most iconic calls, not just in football but in all of sports. (Miracle on Ice, anyone?) He and his original sidekick, John Madden made Monday Night Football must watch television. The duo moved to NBC where they were paired together until Madden’s retirement in 2009 when he was then replaced with maybe the most polarizing voice in football, Cris Collinsworth. With Big Al as the voice for the game of the week on Sunday night, NBC greatly separated itself from ESPN as the must watch prime time game of every week.

With constant criticism berating ESPN’s commentating duo of Joe Tessitore and the just plain awful Booger McFarland, it’s a genius move by the worldwide leader in sports to attempt to poach NBC’s best talent.

Please enjoy this highlight reel of Booger’s best calls to understand exactly why ESPN wants to rebrand themselves with a must watch broadcasting duo. 

Even if ESPN doesn’t land Big Al, they need to get rid of Booger. Or fans are going to continue to mute their TVs when they tune in to Monday Night Football.

Jacob Recht is a producer for ESPN Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @jakeyrecht

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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