Despite the overwhelming belief that Manning is the ideal color man and perhaps the next generation John Madden, he's been hesitant to make that official plunge.
While lead play-by-player Sean McDonough is now in place, ESPN executives have considered a total reboot of their Monday night booth, sources said.
"Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that both ESPN and Fox are pursuing Peyton Manning as a potential primetime game analyst, with ESPN now the front-runner". Fox execs may have a chance to start a dialogue with Manning this weekend, as he's slated to drive the pace auto at the Daytona 500, which Fox is broadcasting.
Peyton Manning has yet to say anything publicly about whether or not he is considering a career in television broadcasting in the near future, but it has become quite clear that he could have nearly any job he wants in that field.
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Manning would likely crush it being a color analyst in the booth, similarly to how Tony Romo emerged on the scene for CBS in 2017. Now that Manning is a free agent once again, he's just as sought after as before, although for an entirely different job opportunity this time around. No matter where Manning goes, or if he turns down both networks, there will still be big changes.
With Jon Gruden no longer calling Monday Night Football games, ESPN is believed to be interested in replacing the Raiders coach in the booth with Manning. Matt Hasselbeck served as a color analyst for ESPN's coverage of the Pro Bowl and may be the leading in-house candidate to replace Gruden should Manning pass on the job.
In fact, ESPN would reportedly consider bumping Sean McDonough out of his role as the lead play-by-play announcer for "Monday Night Football" if Manning preferred to work with someone else. One source told Marchand that the idea of working Thursday nights rather than weekend games is one that could appeal to Manning.
Manning added he "will always be close to the game" whatever the next step is in his career.
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