ESPN Wants Peyton Manning On ‘Monday Night Football’

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Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL in March of 2016, about a month after he won his second Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. Since then, various broadcasting networks have sought to bring Manning in as an announcer, but Manning has never accepted any such job, with the exception of occasional appearances on the ESPN+ show Detail.

Now, one network is making a renewed push to hire Manning as an announcer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ESPN wants Manning to join its booth for Monday Night Football as a color commentator. Manning would replace Jason Witten, who spent a year in the Monday Night Football booth in 2018 but then decided to come out of retirement and return to the Dallas Cowboys as an active player.

Per the Reporter, ESPN’s president and programming chief recently visited Manning in Denver in order to talk to him about the role. Joe Tessitore is expected to remain as play-by-play man, and while ESPN has gotten rid of the “Boogermobile,” sideline reporter Anthony “Booger” McFarland is also expected to remain part of the broadcast.

According to The Spun, Manning said in an interview in the spring of 2018 that he had turned down announcing jobs following his retirement as a player because he “doesn’t want to be a critic,” instead wanting to take the time to be a fan. That story, citing an interview Manning gave with Restaurant Business Magazine, also said that the ex-quarterback stated that “I still do too many commercials.”

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Peyton Manning played a total of 17 years in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, winning two Super Bowls after he was chosen by the Colts as the top overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Manning is the only NFL quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.

He holds numerous NFL records, including for the most career passing yards and most career comebacks. Manning had the record for the most career passing yards, but Drew Brees passed him last season.

Manning, known for his charisma and personality that has been on display for years in television commercials, has long been considered a natural choice to become a broadcaster. This is especially the case after another quarterback, Tony Romo, went directly from retiring as a player into the CBS broadcast booth, where he’s earned rave reviews. Romo’s former teammate Witten, however, did not get the same praise during his rookie foray into broadcasting.