It appears that the Tony Romo sweepstakes have ended with him staying at CBS after all, and with him setting incredible contract records along the way. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Friday that Romo’s agreed to a deal that will pay him around $17 million per year:
Breaking: Tony Romo and CBS have agreed to a deal that will make him the highest NFL analyst in TV history in a deal that will pay him around $17 million per season, according to sources.
Story up shortly.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) February 29, 2020
Update: In a piece Monday on CBS’ offer to Peyton Manning, Marchand revised that number upwards to $17.5 million in salary, $18 million including perks, and mentioned that the contract is for 10 years.
As discussed last March when Romo was reportedly seeking a $10 million a year deal, that alone would have been enough to make him the highest-paid analyst in any sport in television history. So a reported $18 million a year deal puts him well into first place. But it’s understandable why this happened, with ESPN eager to change the conversation around Monday Night Football and reportedly offering Romo $10-14 million annually. It sounds like there was an ESPN-CBS bidding war here, and CBS came out on top. And as per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, keeping Romo (who’s drawn a lot of praise for his work as a NFL analyst so far) is perhaps also something CBS did to show their long-term commitment to the NFL (their NFL contract expires after the 2022 season):
Romo deal is described as long term. It shows CBS’s commitment to the NFL, as those negotiations heat up.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) February 29, 2020
Regardless of the motivation, this certainly means that Romo will be sticking around on CBS’ top broadcast team (where he’s currently paired with Jim Nantz) for a while. And it means that ESPN will have to look elsewhere if they really plan to change their Monday Night Football booth.