With Jon Gruden hired to coach the Oakland Raiders, ESPN has a major hole to fill in the “Monday Night Football” booth. And there’s a chance the void could be filled by legendary quarterback Peyton Manning.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, ESPN executive Stephanie Druley said, “We like Peyton Manning, and we would be foolish not to talk him.”
She added, “We want someone who loves the game, who is a student of the game, but who has a personality as well.”
Manning surely checks off all of those boxes, but has yet to show any reciprocal interest in the job.
ESPN has confirmed that play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough will return for his third season in the “MNF” booth. If Manning turns the offer down, who else is in the running to join McDonough?
As of today, the only other name being thrown around by ESPN as another possible Gruden replacement is current “MNF” analyst Matt Hasselbeck. I believe Hasselbeck would do a fine job. He’s smart and funny — but, he’s no Peyton Manning.
With NFL TV ratings continuing its downward spiral, ESPN is desperate to hire Manning. Due to the NFL becoming overtly political, it’s unclear if disenfranchised fans will ever fully embrace the sport again.
But, if anyone can bring back fans and revive the sport, it’s Peyton Manning.