Sports | January 25, 2021 11:22 am

Could Philip Rivers Become ESPN’s Version of Tony Romo on “Monday Night Football”?

ESPN will talk with the recently retired quarterback about coming aboard as an NFL analyst

Philip Rivers to Join "MNF" as ESPN's Version of Tony Romo?
Philip Rivers gives a thumbs-up on the sidelines in 2020.
Chris Unger/Getty Images

Philip Rivers, the best quarterback to never win a Super Bowl, may go from calling NFL plays on the field to calling NFL games in the broadcast booth as early as next season.

Rivers, who announced his retirement last week after 17 seasons in the NFL, is a top target of ESPN executives, who are seeking to upgrade their team in the Monday Night Football booth.

Though ESPN is likely to retain its current MNF trio of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese for the 2021 season, there’s a chance the network will add more games and have doubleheaders on some Mondays going forward, The New York Post reported.

Should that be the case, Rivers could be an ideal candidate to serve as an analyst on the secondary broadcasts, with the network planning to talk with him about becoming their version of CBS star quarterback-turned-analyst Tony Romo.

One of football’s top trash-talkers, Rivers “has impressed NFL TV executives with his football acumen and insights during interviews and closed-door production meetings” over the years, and his Southern drawl reminds some of late MNF analyst “Dandy” Don Meredith, according to Front Office Sports.

“He’d be amazing on TV. First of all, he’s a great player. He’s got that Southern, down-home warmth. And he’s a quarterback like Romo,” a source told FOS. “[Peyton] Manning’s the white whale for everybody. But Rivers might be just as good. If not better.”

On the Manning front, while ESPN would love to have the two-time Super Bowl winner calling games, the network “does not plan to make its yearly all-out recruitment” of the retired star QB, according to The Post.

“It’s not that ESPN wouldn’t love to have Manning in the booth,” The Post reports. “It would. But ESPN and Manning have a strong working relationship from his ESPN+ Peyton Places and Detail shows, so if he is finally interested in doing games, they would let him bring it up. All indications are he won’t.”

If Rivers does end up following Romo into the broadcast booth, he would be going against something he said he when the topic was broached a couple years ago.

“It’s so funny because I enjoy talking football and doing all of that,” Rivers said in 2017. “I just don’t think I’ll ever go that route.”

Now, with no $25 million salary from an NFL team to fill out his margins, the 39-year-old may rethink the prospect of taking the lucrative broadcasting deal he could likely secure from ESPN or another network.

After all, Rivers has mouths to feed — nine of them.

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