Former NFL star and ESPN host Keyshawn Johnson Former NFL star and ESPN host Keyshawn Johnson was an honoree at the 2022 Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota, Fla.

While ESPN spent Friday laying off some of the biggest names in its talent pool, some people over at Fox Sports were probably paying attention.

Among the many on-air talents to be given the pink slip was Keyshawn Johnson, who was considered a likely candidate since ESPN decided to axe his radio show with Jay Williams and Max Kellerman, who was also let go.

That could be exactly what Skip Bayless and FS1 have been waiting to happen as, according to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Johnson could be a “top candidate” to fill the spot left empty by Shannon Sharpe’s recent Undisputed departure.

The news isn’t all bad for Johnson as only a year ago, he signed a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $18 million – and he will be able to collect all of it.

Johnson also may become a top candidate to replace Shannon Sharpe as Skip Bayless’ debater on FS1’s “Undisputed.”

He already lives in Los Angeles, where the show is filmed. 

Marchand may be speculating here but Johnson does check a lot of boxes. He’s a former NFL star like Sharpe was. He has a lot of experience debating and speaking his mind from his time on ESPN. He’s gone toe-to-toe with people like Kellerman, who has also been floated as a potential co-host choice, though it’s unlike that Bayless would settle for Stephen A. Smith’s table scraps.

For better or worse, Bayless has a lot of potential co-hosts to choose from thanks to ESPN’s layoffs and the availability of other sports media stars. The question is, how many of them really want the job?

[New York Post]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to