Report: “Crazy” Bidding War for Tony Romo Between CBS and ESPN on Way
Romo's rookie deal with CBS will be up after he calls Saturday's AFC Championship game
Once CBS sportscaster Tony Romo‘s contract with the network is effectively done after he calls Saturday’s AFC Championship game, the bidding war for his services in the NFL broadcast booth next season could get “crazy.”
At least that’s what James Andrew Miller, the author of Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN, told Front Office Sports.
According to Miller, CBS “would be crazy” to not offer Romo enough money to keep him from signing with ESPN to call games on Monday Night Football.
“By all indications, [CBS is] eager to stay in the NFL and they’d have to be taking some really weird drugs not to want Tony to stay in the booth,” Miller told FOS. “It’s going to be one of those crazy auctions where you see a lot of money thrown around. Tony will have to weigh a variety of competing factors.”
One of those factors, obviously, is going to be money. As was reported yesterday, ESPN is readying a multi-year offer which could make the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback the highest-paid sportscaster in TV history with an annual salary of $10 million to $14 million annually.
Another factor that could affect Romo’s decision is his love of playing golf. By calling games that air on Sunday afternoons for CBS, he’s been unable to play in a number of PGA Tour events that he might otherwise attempt to qualify for and participate in.
While that problem won’t completely go away if he signs on with ESPN to call games on Monday nights, it would at least be easier to manage.
Should Romo depart, CBS — which does have the right to match any offer ESPN throws the former QB’s way — could consider another option like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
But, ex-Fox Sports executive turned media consultant Patrick Crakes told FOS that Romo, not a replacement, should be the top priority for CBS.
“They have to keep him. I mean what’s $14 million, or whatever, a year to have an elite level talent to carry the brand flag for your $2 billion annual investment in NFL games?” he said. “If you’re going to invest the house in the NFL, then the millions that you pay to keep a unique generational talent like Romo in-house is just marketing. As to who could replace him, he’s not replaceable.”
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