Ron Jaworski ESPN

ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski was one of the bigger names let go by the network during a mass layoff back in April. How much you liked Jaworski’s film-study driven style of analysis might determine whether or not you’ve missed him on ESPN during the first two weeks of the 2017 season.

However, ESPN executives and producers apparently missed Jaworski on the network’s NFL Matchup program. According to The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel, the network wanted to walk back Jaworski’s layoff and put him back on the air. However, parent company Disney told ESPN that Jaworski could not be brought back. The layoff would stand.

Jaworski’s name was not immediately listed among the layoffs that were made public. But reports always had the number of layoffs around 100 employees, and some of them were revealed much later on as the people affected chose to share the news. In June, Jaworski said that he was “in limbo” and didn’t know if he was laid off or not. Meanwhile, the NFL Matchup show he was strongly identified with was coming back for the 2o17 season.

“I still may continue to work at ESPN. I do not know what the future is going to hold,” Jaworski told The Doomsday Podcast, co-hosted by former ESPN reporter Ed Werder, who was also laid off and is still under contract with the network.

“I still have a contract with them until May 31 of 2022, and if they choose to want to use me in some other areas, that is being talked about with my agent basically as we speak,” Jaworski added. “So I’m a guy in limbo right now. But I do want to continue some broadcasting. I love what I do.”

With a new NFL season underway and NFL Matchup back on the air with Louis Riddick, Sal Paolantonio and Greg Cosell, it’s clear that Jaworski was indeed laid off and wasn’t going to be allowed back on the air. Part of Jaworski’s uncertainty (his Twitter handle is still @jawsespn) stemmed from the fact that he was under contract with the network until June 2022.

But as we now know, that circumstance applied to several ESPN reporters and personalities who were laid off. Essentially, they were being paid to stay off the air. As Glasspiegel mentions in his report, Disney decided to swallow the costs of those outstanding contracts for tax accounting purposes, labeling them as “severance and contract termination costs.”

Neither Jaworski nor ESPN offered comment to Glasspiegel, but it’s apparent that the analyst is still in a form of limbo. He may know that he can’t return to ESPN, but where his broadcast career goes next is uncertain.

[The Big Lead]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is an editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has covered baseball for Yahoo! Sports, MLive.com, Bleacher Report and SB Nation, and provides analysis for several sports talk radio shows each week. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.

  • sTim

    I am a fan of film-based study. I am not a fan of the ESPN personality who HAS TO YELL… ABOUT EVERY SINGLE THING… HE SAYS (aka Jaws). Dude had Will Ferrell’s “voice immodulation disorder” in the real world. Not every point you make is the greatest one ever.

    • ChazzyJoe

      Yes, I’m having difficulty controlling THE VOLUME OF MY VOICE.

      • pmaljr

        Yes, except it was Mike Meyers’ gag. Used it in Austin Powers also.

    • GameFederer

      I always appreciated Jaws because his loudness to me was just his overall enthusiasm for the sport. It’s similar to Vitale but I can only stomach so much about Vitale anymore. Jaws’ getting excited is far different from Stephen A or Bayless getting loud to yell over someone. NFL Matchup seemed to only come on at like 2am a few days before the actual games, but I never questioned his enthusiam. Everytime they’d show the film and he’d be drawing the X’s and O’s I not only understand thoroughly what point he was making, but I personally found his energy to be a breath of fresh air. I ahven’t watched Matchup in a while because I don’t really care for the NFL as much in general anymore (nothing to do with Kaepernick stufff, Just find the game to be boring and the multitude of commercial breaks are overly excessive) but I thought he and Merril Hoge were a good duo to bounce off one another.

  • Regardless of what you think of Jaws, it really seems unfair to fire him and then tell him (and everyone else in the same boat) that he can’t do anything else till his contract is up. Buy out his contract, save some more money, and say goodbye.

    • Frankie J. Schifano

      Question, if his contract runs to 2022 does that mean he still gets paid for not coming to work?

      • Generally speaking under contract law you can only be excluded from taking other employment if you’re being compensated, so, yeah, basically he’s being paid whatever the base salary in his contract is to sit on his butt at home.

        I guess ESPN is worried if they let all these people out of their deals at once they could go to FS1, but it’s not like ex-ESPNers have been bringing in the ratings gold over there already.

        • Frankie J. Schifano

          Thank you for the clarity on that. I personally think its a sweet deal for jaws then.

        • Frankie J. Schifano

          They should probably change the wording from fired to laid off with pay then.

        • Shawn Diiorio

          Its why we have not seen much of the ex ESPN people doing alot else, a few have, but not everyone.

  • heavyd

    So I wonder if he got paid for those years as his contract was good til 2022? I hope so , I really enjoyed Jaws breaking down film….

    • PAI

      If he’s ‘in limbo’ as he puts it, that answer is probably not only a yes, but is probably being paid like he’s still employed there, on some weekly to monthly basis.

  • Shawn Diiorio

    Disney just needs to sell ESPN, it’s doing the network more harm than good, and I don’t imagine Disney is making the money they would like off of it.

  • Carter_Burger67

    Jaworski actually brought something to whatever broadcast he was on. So let’s fire him yet keep the political hack known as Jemele Hill. That sounds about right.

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