We need Peyton Manning on the airwaves somewhere, but ESPN will reportedly not be that network.
The Worldwide Leader went all out for Manning's services to fill their Monday Night Football opening, even offering him a monster contract, per reports. However, as CBS locked down Tony Romo for the foreseeable future, ESPN failed to land their star quarterback as a commentator.
Manning is thus far unproven as a broadcaster, but he's of the same mold as Romo -- a former NFL quarterback with an ability to understand the intricacies of the game. If anything, Manning's knowledge of X's and O's cannot be questioned.
ESPN is desperate to move on from Booger McFarland in the booth, just as they were Jason Witten before he came out of retirement to re-sign with the Cowboys. While Manning and ESPN seem like a good fit on the surface, something is amiss, and it reportedly has to do with their production schedule and the future Hall of Famer's inability to commit to that on a weekly basis.
We're not sure if ESPN has a backup plan, but it's unlikely to bring the same fanfare as Manning.