With the news of Tom Brady’s (second) retirement on Wednesday, speculation has hit a fever pitch regarding his potential media career and the effect it will have on Fox’s Greg Olsen. Will Brady actually make the jump to broadcasting? Will Olsen actually be demoted after his partnership with Kevin Burkhardt has begun to bear fruit?

There’s a lot going on, and for now, it’s all speculative.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post was one of the many reporters to write a column about the situation, and dropped an interesting couple of notes at the end.

Notably, Olsen would be in line for a sizeable pay cut with a demotion from Fox’s #1 team to the #2 team, and that he’s got an out clause in his deal in case there is another top analyst job available.

As for Olsen, the prevailing wisdom is he may get a raw deal. We are a long-run contrarian on this point of view. He is 37 and is making around $10 million a year. When Brady arrives, Olsen will be slotted down to the No. 2 spot on Fox’s depth chart and will make in the $3 million range. That is still a tremendous job.

But Olsen has his future in his hands. His contract, according to sources, allows him to leave if there is a No. 1 job around. He could end up being this generation’s Cris Collinsworth, having a long, lucrative career, despite not having played quarterback or for the Cowboys or in New York. People love an underdog — especially if the person delivers.

The out clause is probably the most interesting part here, but it’s also likely not relevant at the minute. ESPN isn’t an option after they signed Troy Aikman to a long-term deal last year. For all of the (mostly justified, but somewhat over the top) criticism leveled at Tony Romo in recent weeks, he’s still in the midst of a massive long-term contract and will only leave if he wants to. Cris Collinsworth has shown no indication that he’s leaving NBC. That leaves Amazon, who backed up the Brinks trunk for Kirk Herbstreit last year, and it would be surprising to see them move on so quickly.

That would leave Olsen working with Joe Davis as Fox’s #2 team next season, with Brady replacing him alongside Burkhardt as the network’s top team.

Fox is really betting on Brady being a quality analyst. If he is, then this gambit will have worked out spectacularly. If not, it might take quite awhile for Fox to get their NFL broadcasting lineup back in order.

[New York Post]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.