If Troy Aikman does really leave Fox to join ESPN as the next Monday Night Football lead analyst, it will free up a key position in Fox’s No. 1 announcer booth, according to sources.
It’s a long list of names that have been floated around as potential replacements for Aikman and Joe Buck, and they vary from no-brainers to no-hopes.
Greg Olsen, who is already Fox’s No. 2 analyst and has long been speculated to be Aikman’s heir apparent, appears to be the favorite to take over the position.
There have also been numerous speculations swirling around Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, who hinted at a possible switch to television earlier this month.
Former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton has been mentioned as someone who Fox would want to have in the broadcast booth.
John Lynch, the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, who used to serve as an analyst for Fox, has also been linked to the position.
Drew Brees is a unique name that has been bandied about a lot lately. His first year at Sports was spent as an analyst for Sunday Night Football.
He has since expanded his job to include commentator for the Notre Dame football team and part-time NFL booth analyst.
Unfortunately for Brees, his performance during the broadcast of the Raiders–Bengals playoff game was met with critical acclaim,
with reviewers describing him as “beyond vanilla,” “corporate,” and “not ready for the postseason stage.”
Still, television executives appear to have great expectations for Brees, as evidenced by the fact that he has been touted as a replacement for Aikman as the network’s quarterback.
The question is, how would this work if Drew is under contract. According to theory, the two networks engage in a transaction, just as they did when he was an active player.
Fundamentally speaking, the network that currently has a contract with the announcer allows the other network to negotiate a new deal in exchange for receiving some form of remuneration.
It wouldn’t be the first time a network made a swap in exchange for a broadcast announcer.
In fact, Al Michaels was “traded” from ESPN/ABC back in 2006 in exchange for “other sports considerations and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” according to the New York Times.
There were even suspicions that Michaels will be traded back to ESPN in 2020, but those claims were quickly squashed by the network.
There have also been other trading situations involving networks that have occurred. As Awful Announcing Joe Lucia pointed out,
ESPN gave Ryder Cup coverage in exchange for Premier League highlights in 2013 to make room for the World Cup.
It seemed improbable that Fox would make the effort to pry Brees away from when they already have someone like Olsen on staff, but time will tell if anything comes of the speculation.
However, in the interim, there have been some interesting comments to the prospect on social media platforms such as Twitter.