Report: Peyton Manning Won’t Fix ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” Problem

Manning turned down ESPN’s offer to join the “MNF” broadcast booth

Report: Peyton Manning Won't Fix ESPN's "Monday Night Football" Problem
Former quarterback Peyton Manning. (Russell Lansford/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
By Evan Bleier / March 24, 2020 9:02 am

Turning 44 today, former Colts and Broncos star quarterback Peyton Manning won’t be celebrating his birthday by joining a new team.

According to The New York Post, Manning has turned down an offer from ESPN to join the network’s broadcast booth for Monday Night Football. 

Though it is unclear how much ESPN was prepared to offer Manning to join the MNF team, The Post reports a contract offer in the $12-14 million range “seems realistic.”

ESPN was reportedly prepared to offer Tony Romo a 10-year contract worth $140 million, but never had the chance after he re-signed with CBS on a 10-year, $180 million deal.

Manning, who is on two other shows on ESPN+, may have been able to top Romo’s contract if he had combined his MNF salary with his other two shows.

This is far from the first time that Manning has spurned ESPN and rejected the MNF job. This time around, sources told The Post the overriding factor was if Manning finally wanted to commit to the weekly broadcast schedule in the fall. Apparently, he did not.

Manning, who retired in 2016, explained to Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post in 2019 why he turned down previous ESPN offers.

“I talked to the Monday Night Football folks,” Manning told O’Halloran. “I enjoyed talking to them. I had a great conversation. It wasn’t the right time this year. Maybe it will never be. I enjoy talking and listening. But I am pretty good, going back to recruiting in high school, and then telling you pretty quickly that I am out or that I am in. I am not trying to lead anybody on. I think college coaches that recruited me appreciated that.”

It’s also previously been reported Manning turned down ESPN because he didn’t want to be in the position where he would have to criticize his brother Eli. That should no longer be an issue is the younger Manning is now retired.

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