Peyton Manning Turns Down Monday Night Football Role With ESPN: Report

Dan Mennella
March 23, 2020 - 5:45 pm

Retired NFL legend Peyton Manning has rebuffed ESPN in its pursuit to acquire him as an analyst for Monday Night Football, according to a report.

ESPN was said to covet NBC play-by-play announcer Al Michaels as well as Manning for its MNF booth, but Manning has once again decided against committing to a full-time analyst role, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Manning's reported decision comes just weeks after NBC reportedly turned down ESPN's overtures to negotiate a "trade" for Michaels. Undeterred by losing out on Michaels, ESPN apparently continued its pursuit of Manning before he said "no thanks."

It's unclear if ESPN formally made an offer, and if so, for how much, but ESPN was said to cap its offer for analyst Tony Romo at 10 years and $140M before he ultimately re-signed with CBS, the report said.

ESPN hasn't yet informed current MNF announcers Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland of its plans to move on, according to Marchand, and the network could put its search on pause after striking out on several higher-profile targets for the analyst role such as Romo, Manning, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers.

The Michaels-Manning tandem was dreamed up as part of a grand scheme to rejuvenate the sagging MNF brand, which has lost its luster in recent decades owing to games being televised nationally throughout the season on Sunday and Thursday nights in addition to Monday.

ESPN's in-house options include a three-man team of Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick, according to the report.

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