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Report: ESPN will talk to Philip Rivers about joining network as NFL analyst

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

ESPN viewers might hear a lot more “dadgummits” on the network soon. The network will reportedly speak to recently retired quarterback Philip Rivers about working as an NFL analyst, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.

Rivers, who announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday, already has a different job lined up. Last May, Rivers was named the coach in waiting at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope, Alabama. After revealing his retirement, Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune he’s “excited to go coach high school football.”

That could complicate talks with ESPN. The network will reportedly talk to Rivers about appearing on shows like “Get Up,” “SportsCenter” and ESPN’s NFL pregame shows, but Marchand believes it’s “doubtful” Rivers would want that job. Marchand says other networks could offer Rivers more flexibility at a similar pay rate if he wants to be an analyst.

Could ESPN pursue Philip Rivers for “Monday Night Football?”

ESPN could have a much more enticing offer for Rivers depending on whether the network adds more games to its schedule as part of a new TV rights deal, according to Marchand.

With that said, the Rivers talk could take an interesting turn because there is a chance ESPN adds more games in the forthcoming new TV rights deals, according to sources. As talks continue between all the networks and NFL executives, the idea of additional games on ESPN/ABC’s schedule in the future has been broached, perhaps in the form of building more MNF doubleheaders.

In that scenario, ESPN could see if Rivers would want to be part of a broadcast booth. Rivers wouldn’t replace anyone in ESPN’s current “Monday Night Football” booth, which features Steve Levy, Louis Riddick and Brian Griese. Instead, Rivers could be part of a second booth if ESPN or ABC decides to hold more “Monday Night Football” doubleheaders. That could give Rivers an opportunity to test whether he enjoys being a broadcaster.

ESPN has pursued former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning for a broadcasting job for years, but Manning has declined those offers. The network reportedly won’t make an all-out pitch to Manning this year, but is still open to Manning being a part of the “Monday Night Football” booth if he suddenly shows interest. Manning has a good relationship with ESPN, and hosts two shows on ESPN+.

Manning and Rivers aren’t the only two quarterbacks being pursued for broadcasting job. Drew Brees will reportedly join NBC once he retires, and it’s been rumored Brees could eventually replace Cris Collinsworth in the “Sunday Night Football” booth.

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