As the NFL rapidly approaches a big free agency period, the most important NFL media free agent has come to a new agreement on a record-breaking contract.
Tony Romo has been a revelation in the booth next to Jim Nantz on CBS’ top broadcast pairing, and with his deal running up, there was the expectation that CBS and ESPN would possibly enter a bidding war for his services. Since Jon Gruden’s departure to coach the Raiders, ESPN has shuffled around its booth on Monday Night Football in search of the right combination, most recently pairing Joe Tessitore with Booger McFarland after Jason Witten left the booth to unretire and play for the Cowboys.
The question was whether CBS would be willing to pay enough to keep Romo away from the Worldwide Leader, and we got the answer on Friday as Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Romo had inked a record-breaking deal with CBS to keep him paired with Nantz at a rate of around $17 million per year.
Breaking: Tony Romo and CBS have agreed to a deal that will make him the highest NFL analyst in TV history in a deal that will pay him around $17 million per season, according to sources.
Story up shortly.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) February 29, 2020
Per Marchand, Romo’s deal is for “significantly more than five years,” which means it’s worth more than $100 million overall. To put that into perspective, Tony Romo’s last contract with the Cowboys paid him $18 million per year, which means he’s barely taking a pay cut from being a top level NFL starting quarterback to no longer have to get hit by gigantic humans. That’s a significant victory. Michael McCarthy would confirm that ESPN had offered Romo a competing offer, but he turned it down to stick with CBS.
Breaking: Tony Romo has turned down a competing offer from ESPN and is re-signing with CBS, say sources.
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) February 29, 2020
It isn’t a shock that he would want to stay in the booth with Nantz, with whom he’s very comfortable, and it’s a huge win for CBS who now keep their best analyst who is, legitimately, a draw to their premier game each week. All eyes now shift to what ESPN will do with the Monday Night booth, as to whether they look for someone else to make it a three-man team, try to replace McFarland altogether, or if they’ll roll with Tess and Booger for next year as is. Marchand notes that there are “alternative plans” at ESPN, with the expectation that they’ll once again try to lure Peyton Manning into the booth.