Kirk Herbstreit, Chris Fowler Reportedly Considered by ESPN for 'MNF' Roles

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 08:  ESPN television personalities Kirk Herbstreit (left) and Chris Fowler prepare for the College Football Playoff National Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

ESPN has reportedly considered moving Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit from their college football roles to the NFL for Monday Night Football.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Monday that ESPN remains unsettled about the MNF broadcast booth after failing to secure the duo of Al Michaels and Peyton Manning.

Another option includes Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Dan Orlovsky, though last season's tandem of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland hasn't officially been removed from the Monday broadcast, per Marchand.

The situation is further complicated by ESPN's continued interest in New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who signed a two-year, $50 million contract this offseason.

He's still generating interest from the network, which is trying to lock him into a Monday Night Football spot early with an offer around $6.5 million annually to go into effect upon his NFL retirement, per Marchand.

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo signed a contract with CBS in February worth over $17 million per season to set the new gold standard for football analysts.

ESPN may wait for a decision from Brees before making a final announcement on this year's MNF team. A two-person booth may make more sense in the short term if the New Orleans signal-caller agrees to join in the future to avoid creating a further logjam.

In turn, Fowler and Herbstreit represent an intriguing internal stopgap idea. They've handled many of college football's biggest games in recent years and would likely have no trouble bringing the same level of success to the NFL until ESPN gets to rebuild its Monday Night Football crew around Brees.

"ESPN is the highest bidder right now for Brees," Marchand wrote.

The New York Post report noted the network also held talks with fellow quarterback Philip Rivers before he signed a one-year, $25 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts.

ESPN hasn't announced when it will make a final decision on the 2020 MNF booth.

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