Troy Aikman, who has been part of Fox Sports’s No. 1 NFL broadcast team for 20 seasons, is close to joining ESPN as its main “Monday Night Football” analyst, an industry source confirmed.
Aikman, a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, has been with Fox since 2001, and part of its top broadcasting team with play-by-play voice Joe Buck since 2002. For the first three seasons, Cris Collinsworth was also part of a three-man booth.
News of the move was broken by The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, who reported that Aikman’s deal will be for five years at a salary in the neighborhood of $17.5 million per year.
Aikman’s pending switch of network allegiances would have a major effect on some of the more prominent national NFL broadcast pairings.
Fox Sports would need a replacement for Aikman alongside Buck in its top booth. Former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is the presumed front-runner, but he has just one season of full-time experience. He was part of Fox’s No. 2 team with Kevin Burkhardt last year.
ESPN and ABC have been expected to add to their NFL broadcasters roster, which includes the current “Monday Night Football” team of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese. In the new NFL media rights deal, which begins next season, ABC gets three stand-alone “Monday Night Football” games as well as a simulcast with ESPN on a late-season Saturday doubleheader.
Aikman, whose contract at Fox Sports expired at season’s end, had acknowledged options beyond returning to the network, including the possibility of joining Amazon Prime’s exclusive Thursday night broadcasts, which begin next season.
Amazon Prime pursued Aikman and is expected to land Al Michaels, whose contract at NBC has expired, as its play-by-play voice.