Peyton Manning as Monday Night Football Announcer? Reports Indicate ESPN Could Pay Him $20 Million a Year

Reports surfaced Thursday that former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning could land a deal with ESPN to analyze Monday Night Football games. The deal could be worth as much as $20 million for Manning, which would surpass the $17 million a year that CBS recently agreed to pay Tony Romo to stay with their network.

If Manning does land a deal to call Monday Night Football, he could make more money than many quarterbacks in the NFL. Not too shabby for the future Hall of Famer.

And if Manning does end up in a press box calling NFL games, maybe he'll finally tell the world what "Omaha" meant when he barked it out during pre-snap reads when he played for the Indianapolis Colts, where he won a Super Bowl and lost another.

The story was first reported by Front Office Sports (FOS), which stated Manning is currently in negotiations with ESPN, which has the rights to Monday Night Football and is prepared to pay between $18-20 million a year to Manning, who already has a relationship with the flagship cable sports empire with his documentary series, "Peyton's Places."

"Tony Romo could have a short-lived reign as the highest-paid TV sports analyst. ESPN is prepared to offer Peyton Manning $18 million to $20 million a year to call 'Monday Night Football,' said sources. Romo will make $17 million a year under new CBS deal," Michael McCarthy of FOS tweeted.

Wow. ESPN planning to offer Peyton Manning more than Tony Romo!

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 6, 2020

ESPN was reportedly in a bidding war for Romo, who resigned with CBS last month. CBS is scheduled to call the Super Bowl next season.

Romo was expected to sign a deal worth up to $15 million, but the final number was $17 million for him to continue analyzing CBS's Sunday "Game of the Week."

Meanwhile, the Monday Night Football duo of Joe Tessitore and "Booger" McFarland were deemed the weakest announcers of any of the other lead duos on the other networks that broadcast NFL games, and their ratings were squeamish for ESPN, which pays $1.9 billion a year to broadcast Monday Night Football.

ESPN will likely be the first network to begin renegotiating with the NFL, as its Monday Night Football contract expires following the 2021 season. Fox and CBS contracts expire after 2022, as does the one for NBC, which has the rights for Sunday Night Football.

Peyton Manning ESPN
Peyton Manning on the sidelines before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 10, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

ESPN is also looking to break the pack of other networks rotating to broadcast the Super Bowl, but its cable presence may be a problem. Owned by Disney, ESPN could potentially shift its games to ABC, which would make it a better candidate for landing the Super Bowl.

Manning has enjoyed a life in front of the camera since retiring from the NFL. Aside from his ESPN segments, he has played the star in several TV commercials.

He retired after winning a Super Bowl championship with the Denver Broncos.