Feb 1, 2024; Orlando, FL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce (62) participates in the NFL Pro Bowl Skills Competition at the UCF NIcholson Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

For the NFL’s television partners, this offseason is the equivalent of NBA free agency in 2010. Only rather than LeBron James and Dwyane Wade hitting the open market, it’s Jason Kelce and Bill Belichick.

Both the future Hall of Fame center and six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach make for intriguing media figures for a variety of reasons. But according to one insider, it’s clear who the top target for the networks will be.

“I think it’s more likely Kelce ends up on a [pregame show] desk than Belichick,” The Athletic’s Andrew Marchand told the Ross Tucker Football Podcast. “First off, he’s kind of all-in with the podcast that he has with his brother. And I just think long-term, he looks likes somebody who could do it.

“The issue for Belichick is that there is a feeling and it seems pretty understood that he wants to coach again. So to make such an investment when you might be only for one year, I think places will be a little bit hesitant for that. And Belichick’s a little bit different. What does he want? That’s a question as well that has to be answered because he doesn’t have to do this.”

Even taking the concerns about Belichick’s future out of the equation, Kelce is likely still the answer. It’s hard to recall a time when a former player entered the sports media landscape with the combination of fame, on-field credentials, on-camera readiness, and connection to his audience that Kelce currently possesses.

That’s not to say that Belichick isn’t also a strong candidate for television — despite his gruff demeanor, he has shown plenty of promise as a potential analyst and his career credentials are second to none (or at the very least, second to Tom Brady). But while networks will surely show interest, which appears to be mutual, this isn’t the first time his desire to return to coaching has been brought up as a potential roadblock.

In addition to Kelce and Belichick hitting the open market, Nate Burleson’s contract at CBS is set to expire this year and Greg Olsen is free to look elsewhere as Brady takes the top analyst role at Fox. There should be no shortage of interesting news regarding the NFL’s television partners in the weeks and months ahead, with Kelce having seemingly separated himself as the offseason’s biggest prize.

[Ross Tucker Football Podcast]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.