'Fluctuating' Tom Brady Could Step Away from 10-Year, $375 Million Deal with Fox Sports: Report
When Tom Brady finally hung up his football cleats after this past NFL season, he did so as a 7-time Super Bowl winner and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.
And yet, for a football fanatic like Brady to step away from the game he loved so dearly, when he was still playing at an adequate level, there had to be a pretty sizable carrot on the end of the retirement stick.
That carrot came in the form of a meaty 10-year, $375 million contract offer from Fox to announce and commentate on NFL games. For comparison, the biggest single contract Brady ever inked as a player was a four-year, $72 million pact with the New England Patriots.
That deal was always purported to begin whenever Brady stepped away from football, meaning many are expecting Brady’s broadcast booth career to begin shortly.
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, however, is pumping the brakes just a bit that Brady would be following in the footsteps of another quarterback-turned-announcer in Tony Romo.
Speaking on Wednesday’s “The Marchand and Ourand” podcast (John Ourand is a writer for the Sports Business Journal), Marchand noted that he actually gives a slightly better chance that Brady does not end up working for Fox.
Marchand clipped the relevant portion and tweeted it. You can watch it for yourself below:
CLIP: Brady Meter to call Fox games moves to 49-51
POD: https://t.co/GRXSlndqUx pic.twitter.com/hYtPVz90aL
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) May 3, 2023
“Now, it was at 51 percent that he’s going to do it, to 49 percent [that he won’t)]” Marchand explained. “The reasoning: It’s so much money, he’ll try it for a year.”
Again, Brady made plenty of money in the NFL and through various endorsement deals. But the money being offered by Fox is actually worth more than his lifetime career earnings in the NFL, so Marchand was certainly onto something in his original line of reasoning.
“However, I’ve talked to a couple people, recently, [who are] close to Brady,” Marchand continued. “And I kinda feel like I’m going more 49 percent chance he does it, 51 percent chance he doesn’t.”
So, what contributed to the sudden change of heart?
Marchand explained, “I don’t think he wants to travel that much… I think Brady is a guy who, if he’s in, he’s all in, so he’s not going to be showing up day of games like Joe Buck and (Troy) Aikman do sometimes.
“He’s going to be there early, if he’s going to do it, so it’s a four-day event. Again, cry me a river for that type of money for five-and-a-half months. But, I think he shares his kids with [ex-wife Gisele Bundchen], I think that’s very important to him. And he can make money elsewhere.”
The clip ended with Marchand stressing: “49-51 Brady not doing it at the moment. [It’s] fluctuating.”
Perhaps another reason giving Brady cause for pause? The recent history of NFL players transitioning to the broadcast booth has been a mixed bag, at best.
Romo, for as great as he was when he first burst onto the scene, has largely been criticized for poor performances this past season. Things got so bad with Romo that CBS reportedly had to stage an “intervention” with him.
Jason Witten, Romo’s former teammate on the Dallas Cowboys, was basically mocked and excoriated out of the broadcast booth for being so bad. It was bad enough where Witten abruptly un-retired, went on to play one more season with the Cowboys, before retiring into obscurity.
Booger McFarland was also similarly taken to task for his horrendous coverage on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.”
Of course, there are other examples of former football stars excelling in the broadcast booth.
The aforementioned Romo was unbelievable until he wasn’t. And Brady’s former teammate, Aqib Talib is generally regarded as one of the better players-turned-announcers out there.
For now, all signs still point to Brady debuting for Fox at the start of next season. There has been no official word otherwise.
If Marchand’s reporting is to be believed, Fox could be out a broadcast booth announcer for the upcoming year — but save on about $375 million in the process.
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