Clay Travis Credit: Outkick The Show

As he enters the final year of his deal, the contract status of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is one of sports media’s biggest stories.

Last week, Puck Sports reported that the network offered Smith a five-year deal worth $18 million per year, totaling $90 million. This would make Smith ESPN’s highest-paid employee.

The host is reportedly seeking $25 million a year, so the negotiations seem far apart early on, as is often the case.

Recently on OutKick The Show, Clay Travis discussed the reported offer made to Smith, a former guest on his show.


“Stephen A. came on with me in March or April and he said he thought he was justified in wanting to be the highest-paid employee at all of ESPN,” said Travis. “Will $18 million get it done? I don’t think so. I think Stephen A. wants around $30 million a year. That is my guess. Will he get it? We’ll see.”

Travis then said he hoped Smith got what he was looking for because it’s best for the media landscape as a whole, before taking a shot at the WNBA.

“I believe a rising tide lifts all boats. I want Pat McAfee, I want Stephen A, I want Kirk Herbstreit, I want Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Colin Cowherd, and anyone in daily media, I want them to be paid as much as possible,” he said. “That includes Sean Hannity and Rachael Maddow. I’m in favor of talent. I want talent to get rich and I want those dollars to go up as high as possible. Unlike the WNBA, I believe a rising tide lifts all boats.”

Travis admits he has a self-centered motivation for all of this.

“In about two years, [I] will be a free agent again, and I want to get paid,” said Travis. “I’m in favor of everybody, I’m a capitalist. I hope Stephen A. gets $30 million a year or more.”

[OutKick The Show]