After fairly massive upheaval in the world of NFL broadcasting this offseason, there’s still a top booth position open: the #1 analyst chair at Fox.
While it still feels like building around a potential rising star in Greg Olsen makes the most sense, according to one report there’s another big name that’s being considered: Drew Brees. That’s from Andrew Marchand in the New York Post, who today cited sources saying Brees is being considered at Fox. It might not be a matter of picking him over Olsen for the top slot, either.
Via the Post:
While Greg Olsen remains the leading in-house candidate to become Fox Sports’ No. 1 NFL game analyst, sources say that Brees is in the mix.
Even if Brees leaves NBC for Fox, Olsen could still be promoted to Fox’s lead team with Kevin Burkhardt.
In that scenario, Brees would team with Joe Davis or Adam Amin on the No. 2 team. Brees and Olsen were both rookie NFL analysts last year.
There remains an obvious hurdle here: Brees is employed by another network. When he joined NBC he was viewed as the heir apparent to Cris Collinsworth, but with Collinsworth on a new deal and NBC clearly focusing on that pairing with Tirico, Brees is left a bit in the wind. Unlike CBS or Fox, there are fewer opportunities, and while Brees can still work Notre Dame games, the NFL studio, and an occasional NFL game, it’s clear that the top booth is likely not going to be an option for a while.
Hence, perhaps, the timing these reports; if Brees was looking to get out of his NBC situation, this would be the offseason to do it. Marchand cites other sources noting that Brees wants to do game work:
In his first season at NBC, Brees grew to enjoy games more than the studio, according to sources. Amazon also likes Brees, which could create the possibility of him doing work on “Thursday Night Football” and then calling games for Fox on Sundays.
So what’s the likelihood of this move happening? That’s harder to say. If Brees really does want out, NBC would probably be best-suited to let him go. He underwhelmed during his playoff call alongside Tirico, and while the name value and recognition is there (as well as the obvious potential to grow into the analyst role) it’s still hard to see the path forward. Brees probably won’t get better calling NFL games without, you know, calling NFL games. That option isn’t available at NBC at the moment.
Meanwhile, Fox and NBC have cozied up a bit in recent months thanks to their partnership on the USFL. Dale Earnhardt Jr. moonlighted for Fox this weekend at Talladega, for example. That could pave the way to an amicable move.
If Fox is really interested, it’s not hard to envision a scenario where Brees is allowed to explore that option and potentially leave for an offer.