Report: ESPN Wants to Trade for Al Michaels to Pair with Peyton Manning for MNF

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 10:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts talks with ABC sportscaster Al Michaels prior to playing the New York Giants in an NFL football game at Giants Stadium on September 10, 2006 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Focus On Sport/Getty Images

After losing out on Tony Romo, ESPN has a new dream team in mind for the Monday Night Football booth: Al Michaels and Peyton Manning

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN is attempting to acquire Michaels from NBC Sports, where he still has two years remaining on his contract. Manning would be available, but the former quarterback has said he'd only join an announcing booth in the right scenario.

An experienced play-by-play analyst like Michaels could help Manning have an excellent transition into announcing.

Marchand reported "the network is strongly considering a change" from current analysts Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland.

ESPN reportedly originally offered Romo a 10-year, $140 million deal, but he remained with CBS on a deal that will pay him more than $17 million per season, per Marchand.

The company's plan was to pair him with Michaels, although Manning could represent a suitable replacement.

CBS had considered Manning as a possible replacement for Romo, reportedly offering $10-12 million per year, per Marchand. Fox and ESPN also tried to bid on him in 2018.

The future Hall of Famer already has an ESPN+ docuseries "Peyton's Places" and is a well-known personality from his commercials, although he's yet to join an announcing booth after retiring in 2015.

If he does join Monday Night Football, ESPN could potentially pair him with current analyst and former Colts teammate Jeff Saturday.

Meanwhile, Michaels would only be able to move on if NBC grants him a release from his contract. However, ESPN let him go in 2006 and NBC has Mike Tirico available to replace the veteran announcer.

The 75-year-old announced Monday Night Football from 1986-2006 before moving to Sunday Night Football.