In another blow to ESPN’s plans to revitalize its Monday Night Football coverage, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has elected to sign with NBC once his playing days are over.
The contract with NBC will kick in as soon as Brees retires from pro football and will see the player eventually join NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast team. According to the New York Post, Brees is now seen as the favorite to replace Cris Collinsworth for the NBC broadcast.
“Like all NFL fans, we look forward to watching Drew continue his Hall of Fame career this fall, and we are confident his post-playing career will be just as successful,” NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes said in a statement.
Brees will likely join Mike Tirico sometime after the 2022 season as Trico steps in for Al Michaels, sources say.
Brees won’t join the Sunday Night Football broadcast out of the box, though. Reportedly he will first serve as a game analyst on Notre Dame football and a studio analyst for Football Night in America to earn his bona fides.
Brees still has two years left on his $50 million contract with the Saints, though many suspect he’ll only play one.
According to reports, Brees took a pass on a $6 million deal with ESPN to sign with NBC. The paper also reported that ESPN rejected a counteroffer that Brees made. Though the exact amount was not released, it is likely the one-time Super Bowl winner’s deal with NBC is less than ESPN’s deal. But a source says Brees felt that the was more opportunity for growth with NBC than ESPN.
Meanwhile, ESPN continues to find disruption to its plans to replace Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland on Monday Night Football.
In February, Tony Romo took a pass on ESPN and signed a whopping $17 million contract with CBS as the network’s NFL analyst. The next month, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning rejected ESPN’s offer to join Monday Night Football. And former Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers decided to sign with the Indianapolis Colts instead of becoming a broadcaster.
In addition to all that, CBS rejected ESPN’s request that it trade Al Michaels to them for its MNF team.
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