One of the most intriguing free agents in football in 2020 will not be a player or a coach but a TV football color analyst. Since Tony Romo sat down in the booth with a microphone in front of him, he's been recognized as one of the best analysts in the game. So far, his work with CBS has entertained and impressed many sports fans around the world but at this stage, we don't know if he'll continue to work at CBS.
You see, Tony Romo's deal with CBS is about to expire. Back in August, reports emerged about Romo wanting to be the highest-paid NFL analyst when he signed his new deal. With his original deal paying $4 million per year, his agents were reportedly asking for a record-setting deal of $10 million.
To put that figure into perspective, no football analyst has ever made more than eight million dollars a year, a record held by none other than Hall of Famer John Madden. But just like in the NFL's free agency market, asking for a lot of money has to do with said market's demand.
What I mean by that is a lot of networks should be interested in adding Romo to their team but maybe none stands out as much as ESPN. We've all seen the jokes and the memes about Monday Night Football's crew featuring Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland.
Monday Night Football, supposed to be the ultimate NFL show, has become a laughing stock for fans who've heard McFarland give superficial analysis and point out obvious things on air. Not to mention, the network has had many failed projects in their broadcast over the last few years. Their “Booger Mobile” idea was disliked by the fans while Jason Witten and Jon Gruden didn't live up to the expectations.
ESPN needs something – or someone – big to bring Monday Night Football back to its glory days. That someone could very well be Tony Romo. But is he willing to part ways with CBS?
You never can tell, specially when there's money involved. I really hope not, however. I believe there's no better duo in football TV than Jim Nantz and Romo. In a recent story with The Athletic, Richard Deitsch mentioned how Nantz believes they can be one of the best broadcasting teams in sports history. He also talked about Romo's future with CBS or elsewhere.
“First off, we’re in the middle of the season, so I don’t want to deal with that. It’s obviously very personal for him. He’s trying to do what’s best not only for his career but for his family. I don’t think it’s my place to get in the middle of it. So we just march on. We go to our games every week and have a ball.”
It'll be interesting to see how much the networks are willing to offer him. He's clearly special. In sportscasting, it's always taught that the star of the broadcast is the game. But there's no denying Tony is special and that he'll draw interest.
Who knows, even Amazon could be a potential suitor after hosting a few NFL broadcasts in the last handful of years. They've been reportedly looking for rights to future games. How helpful would it be to have someone like Tony?
Wherever he ends up, he'll make a great job at analyzing and bringing passion for the game to the booth. CBS will likely find a way to keep him besides Jim Nantz as they continue their quest to become one of the best team's in sports TV history.