Peyton Manning is top choice for ESPN, Fox prime-time analyst

Former quarterback Peyton Manning

FOX has a new Thursday night package to fill and ESPN still hasn't announced a replacement for Jon Gruden on Monday night.

Do you want to hear Manning calling games next season?

Peyton Manning will have his choice of two National Football League color commentary positions should he be interested, according to a published report.

Both networks have Manning "atop their list" to be their primetime National Football League game analyst next season, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Friday, citing sources. As he has told all the networks annually, he did not want to become a broadcaster at that time. Per Marchand, Manning hopes to ultimately fulfill a John Elway-type role with an NFL team, with an ownership stake and a role in football operations, but could use broadcasting as a stopover.

ESPN is hurting after losing longtime analyst Jon Gruden to the Oakland Raiders.


A person with knowledge of Manning's thinking said the fact that Fox's Thursday games would not take him away on weekends could work to the network's advantage.

So it's not surprising to learn that ESPN has already reached out to Manning about potentially joining the network. "And we would be foolish not to talk him".

According to Marchand's report, Randy Moss, Matt Hasselbeck, Charles Woodson and Kurt Warner could be candidates to replace Gruden if Manning turns them down.

The network is also considering rebooting the broadcast and removing Sean McDonough. There was a feeling that McDonough lacked chemistry with Gruden, plus National Football League officials have not been fans of some of McDonough's critiques on officiating, among other topics. Now that Manning is a free agent once again, he's just as sought after as before, although for an entirely different job opportunity this time around.

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