Top NFL Talent We Want to See Make the Jump to Broadcasting Next

Alex BallentineJuly 17, 2022

Top NFL Talent We Want to See Make the Jump to Broadcasting Next

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    For retired NFL stars who still want a piece of the spotlight while remaining close to the game, a move to the broadcast booth can be the perfect answer.

    If you're Tom Brady, it can also be incredibly lucrative. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback made seismic news in the industry by agreeing to a 10-year deal with Fox Sports worth $375 million, per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

    That contract is sure to spark interest from more former players and coaches who are mulling their options.

    Drew Brees debuted with NBC last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick has signed on to be part of Amazon's coverage.

    Former players don't always work out as broadcasters, but it's fun when they do. The best ones bring their understanding of the game and personality, offering entertaining and enlightening analysis.

    There are sure to be more players who make the jump over the next few seasons. Based on their experience and media presence, here are a few we would love to see in the booth or studio.

Cameron Jordan

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    New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan has enjoyed a decorated career that includes seven Pro Bowl appearances.

    In that time, the 33-year-old hasn't shied away from the media scene, beefing with Cam Newton, breaking down his own highlights with a comedic touch and giving his unfiltered opinion on the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.

    He has already worked as a sideline reporter for the XFL and USFL.

    DeAngelo Hall was among those who voted for the pass-rusher in a recent NFL.com poll on this topic, noting, "People will gravitate toward him because of his charisma and knowledge of the game."

    Anytime Jordan is on the mic as a player, he is bound to say something memorable. If he can carry that to the broadcast booth, he could flourish in a second career as an analyst.

George Kittle

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    It didn't take long for Rob Gronkowski to gravitate to the media. The big tight end did plenty of work in that arena during his time as a player, and his big personality helped him land an opportunity on Fox Sports' pregame show when he retired in 2019.

    Now that he's retired again, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post speculated that he could resume the role.

    San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is the most Gronk-like player in the league today, so it makes sense he could make a similar transition.

    He was also the other popular choice, with Jordan, in NFL.com's survey. Maurice Jones-Drew called him "the most entertaining player in the league." Any time Kittle is mic'd up, he is sure to drop gems. And it's evident how much fun he has playing football.

    The 28-year-old probably has a while before he starts thinking about retirement. When he does, he would be great at bringing the energy for a broadcast team like he does for the Niners now.

Sean McVay

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    While this list is primarily composed of players, Sean McVay brings a lot to the table that would make him a great addition to any studio or broadcast booth.

    Amazon obviously agrees with that sentiment. The burgeoning NFL broadcast partner was reportedly prepared to offer the 36-year-old as much as $100 million over five years to join its team as an analyst, per Andrew Marchand of the the New York Post.

    Fox was also in on the pursuit of McVay as he reportedly pondered retirement.

    "Just the timing and everything that surrounded it, it's very flattering. I'm humbled by it," McVay said. "To say that down the line that [broadcasting] is not something I'm very intrigued by would not be accurate, but I'm totally committed to coaching."

    While McVay is clearly at the peak of his powers as a coach, the thought of him as analyst is a fun one.

    Tony Romo's success as a broadcaster comes from his in-depth analysis and real-time evaluation of offensive tendencies. McVay has already impressed with his unreal memory when it comes to play calls.

    It doesn't hurt that McVay's coaching tree has rapidly grown across the NFL. Matt LaFleur, Zac Taylor, Brandon Staley and Kevin O'Connell are all head coaches now after working under McVay.

Jalen Ramsey

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    The most entertaining analysts are the ones who are unabashed in sharing their opinions.

    Jalen Ramsey has a lot of opinions.

    In between locking down receivers, the three-time All-Pro has made his thoughts known on just about everybody. He has a reputation as one of the league's best trash talkers, and it isn't uncommon for his words to make headlines.

    Ramsey recently sparked a Twitter debate with Richard Sherman and Aqib Talib by declaring that only two corners in history have matched the credentials he has accumulated in six seasons.

    He has defended Lamar Jackson as a top-10 quarterback and tried to put an end to Trevon Diggs slander while breaking down how the two play their position differently on The Pivot Podcast (the conversation about Diggs begins at 54:33).

    The NFL media scene is heavy on former quarterbacks and receivers. Ramsey's personality and trash talk could parlay nicely into a second career as an analyst.

    He certainly wouldn't shy away from sharing his opinion. And if he were anything like he is on the field, he would back up all the talk.

J.J. Watt

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    J.J. Watt is one defensive player who could have a bright future in broadcasting.

    For one, it would be good to get some positional versatility in the booth. There aren't a lot of defensive linemen who have made the jump, and Anthony "Booger" McFarland's run on Monday Night Football ended after two years and many memes.

    Watt is immensely popular. According to a YouGovAmerica survey, Watt is the most famous and popular defensive player in the league, and it isn't really close. Richard Sherman is next on the list, and he just landed a gig with Amazon's Thursday Night Football crew.

    Watt's love for the game is clear in the way he plays. He's a quote machine and hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, looking comfortable in front of the camera and receiving positive reviews.

    The five-time All-Pro could use his blend of affability, intensity and expertise to great effect in a broadcasting career.

Russell Wilson

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    AP Photo/David Zalubowski

    Quarterbacks tend to get all the love when it comes to making the transition to broadcasting, but that doesn't mean there's not room for at least one more.

    As one of the game's best, Russell Wilson offers the cerebral talent to provide great analysis of what's happening on the field. The new Denver Broncos quarterback had a strong showing on the first Monday Night Football ManningCast.

    In a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Baltimore Ravens that went to overtime, Wilson's breakdown of the chess game between the Raiders offense and Ravens defense highlighted his performance.

    He did well enough that he was brought back as a guest for a Wild Card Round matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals.

    In that appearance, he was even better, mixing in humor and personality with his analysis of the on-field action.

    Wilson has all the tools to be a compelling commentator. Just don't let him start referring to himself as "Mr. Unlimited."

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