Tom Brady will join Fox Sports as the NFL’s lead analyst when his football career ends.
Whenever it was.
Brady, the seemingly ageless superstar linebacker, is completely intending to disguise himself for the Tampa Bay Pirates in the upcoming season at the age of 45. But whenever he retires, a job at Fox will be waiting for him.
Brady will join other great quarterbacks of his generation like Peyton Manning, Drew Breeze and Tony Romo as they pursue high-profile and highly lucrative media careers at the end of their playing days.
Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive of Fox, made the announcement on Tuesday at the company’s earnings report. Brady’s partner will be announcer Kevin Burkhardt.
“It will be a stellar and exciting television career” Murdoch said“But it’s up to him to make that choice when he sees fit.”
And this time is very unclear. Brady tweeted that he was excited but had “a lot of unfinished business on the field with the pirates”.
Brady did announce his resignation after last season but didn’t make a decision. He decided to return in a little more than a month. “The last two months, I realized that my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” wrote Brady.
Brady joined the Buccaneers for the 2020 season and immediately won his seventh Super Bowl after 20 seasons and six Super Bowl wins with the New England Patriots.
Even last season at age 44, he led the league in passes, touchdowns and pass completions.
Brady once said he hoped to play until he was 45, but he would get over it after his birthday in August. Recently he was more vague about how long he can keep going.
Players, and especially quarterbacks, have been coaxed into the broadcast booth at the end of their playing career for decades. But the competition for the next all-star broadcaster has heated up to the point that some particularly coveted players are now signing TV deals before they’re done playing.
Brees, a former New Orleans Saints quarterback, signed with NBC before he retired, and former Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen simultaneously announced his retirement and a new job with Fox last year.
Since the Fox and CBS television networks put together about 13 NFL games each Sunday, each network has several different announcer groups that cover numerous games happening at the same time in different cities.
Once upon a time, former players had to at least pretend to learn a new job—former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman spent a year at number one on Fox. 2 in 2001 before becoming the top team for the past two decades, and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms began his broadcasting career as part of a three-man booth.
But in recent times, former players have been immediately included in the best teams in broadcasting, and the results have been mixed. Romo immediately teamed up with Jim Nantz on CBS’ main show in 2017. was a revelation with his ability to predict the game. ESPN had much less success with former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. who returned to play in the NFL after a year of criticism at the Monday Night Football newsstand.
Television networks that show football usually talk to head coaches, quarterbacks, and sometimes other players before games to gather material for their broadcasts, and they are constantly interviewing players. it’s the same off-season boot camp broadcasts for players interested in a career in the media. Based on these interactions, the networks draw up lists of players and coaches they think will do well on television, and often aggressively court them before their playing career is over.
Speaking well during pre-game chats or five-minute interviews is not the same skill set as streaming an entire game or spending hours in the studio, as Witten sadly learned. Brady has long been considered a rather wooden man, and for many years in New England, he probably wouldn’t have been a prime candidate for a stellar media career, despite his success on the field. But during the Tampa Bay game, he seemed to relax, displaying a sense of humor and comfort with sports media that Fox hopes he will bring to game broadcasts.
Last year, the NFL signed a new long-term over $100 billion in broadcasting agreementsand with it came a wild wave of talent poaching and contract renegotiation, resulting in a turnover in many of the broadcast booths familiar to NFL fans.
After years of alternating boring broadcast teams for Monday Night Football, ESPN finally spent a lot of money this year to poach Joe Buck and Aikman from Fox, where they’ve been calling games for 20 years. Burkhardt will replace Buck on Fox’s main broadcast, but they haven’t yet announced who will join him and keep the place warm until Brady retires.
Amazon, which increased the number of games it will air under a new NFL television deal signed last year, poached Al Michaels from NBC and forced ESPN to let college football analyst Kirk Herbstrait join the booth while keeping his job at ESPN. . Mike Tirico will replace Michaels on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
CBS, whose decision to replace longtime Simms with freshly retired Romo in 2017 was unexpected at the time, now has the most stable broadcast booth in the NFL.
Manning, who was desired by all, refused to join the traditional team of broadcasters, and instead created his own media company and became face of alternative ESPN “Manningcast” Monday Night Football Presentation.