ESPN’s layoffs came at a very interesting time for the company’s NFL coverage, as the day before the first round of the NFL Draft a number of employees, including some NFL reporters, learned that they no longer had jobs. The layoffs did not hit the main NFL Draft crew — at least as of now — but the likes of veteran reporter Ed Werder and some team writers were without jobs the day before the draft.
Werder used his platform on “The Doomsday Podcast” to explain what happened with regards to the layoffs and said he was surprised to find out that he was among those let go. He also noted that he was reached out to by a number of NFL people, including commissioner Roger Goodell,
“As far as people I’ve heard from that surprised me the most, I heard from three or four head coaches, multiple general managers, Hall of Fame players, current players. And the most surprising to me was Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, phoned me. I was told that he was in a car when he got the word by someone who was with him and said he was angered by it. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but that surprised me. And that tells me something about Roger Goodell as a human being.”
Werder then joked that he texted Goodell that, if he hasn’t found work by then, he’ll go with him to Foxborourgh on his next trip there and serve as his body double. Werder was extremely open and honest about what went down at ESPN, explaining that the company was going to honor his contract (and everyone else’s), but that if he chose to work in TV or media elsewhere at all during the remainder of his deal he would have to forfeit ESPN’s pay.