With it appearing more likely that this will be Tom Brady’s final season in the NFL, the quarterback is one step closer to his historic contract with Fox, although Rich Eisen doesn’t sound so sure.
Eisen joined the latest episode of Jimmy Traina’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast and the NFL Network personality was asked about Brady’s pending $375 million deal to call games for Fox. While Eisen admits he thinks Brady would be a “great” game analyst, he’s not sure we’ll actually get the opportunity to see it.
“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” Eisen said. “I have no insight, this is nothing personally I know, it’s just a lot of work. It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”
Brady signing a 10-year deal to call NFL games for Fox has sounded like an odd fit from the start. Considering Brady’s mundane public personality, his various business ventures, reported interest in owning an NFL team and the desire to spend more time with his family, this massive partnership with Fox came as a surprise.
“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen continued. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”
The ManningCast falls under the Omaha Productions umbrella in its joint venture with ESPN, but Manning is not negotiating with the NFL for game rights, Disney pays those fees and allows the alternate Monday Night Football broadcast to air on ESPN2. It’s a clever way for Manning to build his own production company.
“I don’t know if Peyton is making as much money as Fox has put on the table for Tom, but he still has a growing business,” Eisen noted. “His production company is just gonna get bigger and bigger, and better and better…and Brady could do that too, I imagine Brady could write his own ticket like that.”
Manning has been open about the fact that he’s interested in broadcasting, but doesn’t want to work every weekend during the NFL season. As Brady attempts to reduce his workload at this point in his career, it will be interesting to see if he has second thoughts about a 10-year commitment to enter the broadcasting grind with Fox.