Is ESPN Poised to Offer Tony Romo a Record-Breaking Contract?

Romo could cash in during ESPN's "Monday Night Football" shake-up

Tony Romo Is Football's Best Broadcaster
Tony Romo attends the 2018 CBS Upfront at The Plaza Hotel. (Matthew Eisman/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / January 8, 2020 9:22 am

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is widely recognized as the top NFL analyst calling games today — and he’s about to be paid like it.

In the final year of a rookie broadcasting contract with CBS that paid him a little more than $3 million, the 39-year-old is set to cash in on the free-agent market and could top John Madden’s game analyst record of $8 million per year.

The biggest reason for that is ESPN is looking to shake up its Monday Night Football booth and could offer Romo as much as six years at $10 million-plus per year to take over Booger McFarland’s spot, according to The New York Post.

In addition to the money it can offer him for joining MNF, ESPN may have another advantage in potentially poaching Romo away from calling games on Sundays for CBS.

“Romo’s real love, though, is golf more than broadcasting,” The Post reports. “If Romo stays with CBS, it may have to contractually allow for him to potentially miss some regular-season Sundays as he tries to make cuts in PGA tournaments on Thursdays and Fridays. With ESPN’s games on Mondays, it would be less complicated to accommodate Romo’s golf desires.”

If Romo sticks with CBS and ESPN still wants to replace McFarland, the network could try to woo Peyton Manning (again) or consider one of its top college football analysts. Were they to retire, current NFL players Greg Olsen, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Larry Fitzgerald would all be potential options, The Post reports.

Whatever happens, it is going to have a large impact as the National Football League had its most-watched season on TV since 2016 with games averaging 16.7 million viewers, a five percent increase from last year.

That’s a huge achievement when you consider standard television ratings for nearly all other programming are dropping.

NFL games filled the entire top 10 of most-watched shows, 28 of the top 30 and 47 of the top 50, through December 29, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

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