ESPN, Fox both trying to hire Peyton Manning as TV analyst


According to Marchand, Fox has been interested in hiring Manning dating back to a year ago, but ESPN appears to be making a stronger push as the network looks for a replacement for Jon Gruden.

Despite the overwhelming belief that Manning is the flawless color man and perhaps the next generation John Madden, he's been hesitant to make that official plunge. ESPN, meanwhile, needs someone to replace Jon Gruden on "Monday Night Football".

The network is also considering rebooting the broadcast and removing Sean McDonough.

Yet Manning hasn't completely ruled out doing TV in the meantime, and it appears ESPN and FOX are putting on a full-court press to try to get him in the booth.

Marchand spoke to a source who said ESPN is prepared to "back up the truck" in terms of paying what it would take to entice Manning to move into broadcasting.

Manning could reportedly be a part of a complete overhaul to ESPN's Monday Night Football franchise, which is looking to rebuild after Gruden's departure. He's yet to show significant interest in being in the broadcast booth, but perhaps Tony Romo's success last season has given Manning a change of heart. If Manning doesn't take the job, ESPN would look at plenty of options. Matt Hasselbeck served as a color analyst for ESPN's coverage of the Pro Bowl and may be the leading in-house candidate to replace Gruden should Manning pass on the job. But the sports giant is going to face stiff competition from FOX, which now has the rights to "Thursday Night Football" in addition to Sunday afternoon games. The possibility of using No. 1 team Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on Thursday nights was shot down quickly, because it's tough for one team to do Thursday and Sunday night games. Gus Johnson is a candidate for that role, according to The Post.