Report: Tom Brady Drew Interest from ESPN Before Signing $375M Fox Contract

Erin WalshMay 11, 2022

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Tom Brady, NFL player, gestures during the Big Pilot Charity Challenge at The Miami Beach Golf Club in Miami, Florida, United States on May 04, 2022. (Photo by Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Eva Marie Uzcategui Trinkl/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady will join Fox Sports as the network's lead NFL analyst once his playing career is over. However, it appears he also drew interest from another company before agreeing to a reported 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox.

ESPN, which recently signed both Troy Aikman and Joe Buck to be their lead NFL analysts, was interested in adding Brady to the mix, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

"ESPN, though, already has Buck and Aikman scheduled to start weekly this Monday Night Football season and it has Brady's top rival, Peyton Manning, and his brother, Eli, for 10 Mondays a year, so it did not have room for Brady on NFL game broadcasts, where network executives assign the most value," Marchand wrote.

Fox Sports replaced Buck with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt, alongside whom Brady will eventually work. That said, the outlet was looking for a replacement for Aikman, and if Brady succeeds on TV, the deal will end up having been a no-brainer for Fox Sports.

Brady's $375 million deal with Fox Sports is worth more than he has made during his playing career. According to Spotrac, the seven-time Super Bowl champion will have earned nearly $333 million by the time his current deal with the Bucs expires.

That said, if Brady plays past the 2022 season, it'll be interesting to see what his contract will look like, especially considering he's set to make $37.5 million per year at Fox Sports.

And while Brady confirmed the news that he'd be joining Fox Sports in retirement, he noted on social media that he has "unfinished business" he needs to handle with the Buccaneers before jumping in the broadcast booth.

Tom Brady @TomBrady

Excited, but a lot of unfinished business on the field with the <a href="https://twitter.com/Buccaneers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Buccaneers</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LFG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LFG</a> <a href="https://t.co/FwKlQp02Hi">https://t.co/FwKlQp02Hi</a>

The 44-year-old, who will turn 45 in August, still has plenty of gas left in the tank to lead Tampa Bay to another Super Bowl. He's coming off a 2021 season in which he finished second in MVP voting and threw for more than 5,000 yards for just the second time in his career.