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ESPN is preparing an offer that would make Tony Romo the highest-paid sportscaster in TV history, with a multi-year deal that would pay him between $10 million to $14 million annually, said sources.
ESPN declined to comment. A representative for Romo could not be reached for comment.
If signed by ESPN, Romo could succeed Booger McFarland as the analyst on “Monday Night Football,” said sources. Romo could also potentially quarterback ESPN’s NFL game coverage if parent Disney acquires a Sunday afternoon game package from rival Fox Sports, CBS Sports, and NBC Sports during the next round of NFL TV negotiations in 2020-2021.
No deal has been signed yet, and one source said any negotiation for a new contract for Romo might not wrap up until a month or two after Super Bowl 54.
CBS also has a right to match any offers for Romo, according to sources.
A deal of this size would possibly reset the pay scale for top TV sports personalities.
The 39-year-old former Dallas Cowboy quarterback is currently making about $4 million annually on the final year of his three-year rookie broadcasting deal at CBS.
Troy Aikman, Fox’s top NFL game analyst, makes around $7.5 million per year.
Before returning to the Oakland Raiders, Jon Gruden earned over $6 million a year from ESPN to call Monday Night Football. During the early 1990s, John Madden made $8 million a year.
CBS sports chiefs Sean McManus and David Berson gambled on Romo in 2017, installing the TV rookie as its number one game analyst over veteran Phil Simms. He has since established himself as one of the best NFL analysts alongside play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz.
Romo’s commercial profile has also risen during his time as a broadcaster, and he currently has deals with Corona, Skechers, and Chaps by Ralph Lauren.