ESPN apparently isn’t surrendering hope of placing Peyton Manning within the sales space for “Monday Evening Soccer” video games this season.
Jimmy Pitaro, the community’s president, and Connor Schell, its govt vice chairman for content material, flew to Denver final week to woo the retired quarterback, in line with The Hollywood Reporter, which famous that there’s no indication what Manning’s stage of curiosity could also be.
As for ESPN, its strategy reportedly is “Manning or bust.” With Jason Witten’s resolution to return to the Dallas Cowboys after one season within the sales space, the person who co-wrote a e-book about ESPN and stays plugged into the community’s internal workings thinks there can be a two-person sales space with Joe Tessitore doing play-by-play and Booger McFarland analyzing the sport until Manning decides to provide it a attempt.
“They’re going to have a two-man sales space until in some way Peyton modifications his thoughts,” Jim Miller mentioned on the most recent Sports activities Illustrated Media Podcast. “They’ve a relationship with Peyton due to the ESPN+ present proper now, and Peyton has thought of this. However in case you’re Peyton, what’s the upside?”
That’s a query he appears to be pondering, too. He was a sizzling commodity a yr in the past, when each community was looking for the subsequent Tony Romo after Jon Gruden left “MNF” and Fox landed “Thursday Evening Soccer” video games. Regardless of the demand, Manning was “reluctant,” though the New York Submit’s Andrew Marchand reported that ESPN was prepared to “again up the truck” for him after paying Gruden $6.5 million a yr in 2018. He reportedly declined an annual wage provide of between $four million and $7 million, partly as a result of he didn’t wish to work video games involving his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. “I don’t wish to be a critic at this level,” he mentioned final April.
Since retiring in March 2016, Manning has centered on TV commercials, providing a joking apology within the fall of 2017 “to all of the individuals on the market who’re bored with seeing me on commercials.” Final season, he tried his hand at soccer evaluation for ESPN’s streaming service, engaged on “Element,” a present created by Kobe Bryant’s manufacturing firm. That effort was warmly obtained.
As well as, there was hypothesis that he would possibly turn into the half proprietor of a workforce, a chance he addressed with a nonchalant wisecrack to Peter King within the fall of 2017, “I hold on the lookout for that $2.5 billion in my pocket.” Whether or not he’s proudly owning a workforce, working one, calling video games or doing one other type of evaluation, he advised King that he believes “in staying near the sport” with all of the preparation that entails.
“I went to the mix final yr and met with some GMs and a few house owners to select their brains on completely different sides of issues. I sat in with a workforce in the course of the NFL draft this yr,” he advised King at the moment. “I stayed off digicam, however I used to be capable of sit in and watch. Oftentimes if I’m talking at a sure occasion, I’ll cease by that NFL workforce or faculty workforce and go speak some soccer.