ESPN continues to pursue New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for its "Monday Night Football" color analyst position in 2021 while nearing a decision on the broadcast team it will use in 2020, the New York Post reported Monday.
Per the Post, the network is leaning toward using Steve Levy (play-by-play) alongside analysts Dan Orlovsky and/or Louis Riddick on MNF in 2020, with the possibility of a two-man or three-man booth not yet decided.
Meanwhile, the Post reports ESPN is the "highest bidder right now" for Brees, who is also being pursued by NBC and Fox to be a game analyst once he decides to retire from the NFL. The report did not put a firm figure on ESPN's offer to Brees but suggests it is around $7 million annually.
The Post previously reported ESPN targeted CBS analyst Tony Romo for $14 million annually -- before Romo signed a 10-year, $180 million extension with CBS -- and again courted Peyton Manning, who declined the job. ESPN also reportedly spoke to Philip Rivers, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year contract.
Brees, 41, is entering his 20th NFL season and his 15th with the Saints. He signed a two-year, $50 million contract in March after giving consideration to retiring following the 2019 season.
Though he missed five games last season with a thumb injury, Brees posted a career-high 116.3 passer rating while throwing for 2,979 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also led the league in completion percentage (.743) for the third straight year and the sixth time in the past 11 years.
According to the Post, Brees has told networks he would like to broadcast games -- rather than be a studio analyst -- after he retires.
ESPN has not officially announced that the 2019 duo of Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland will be moved off of "MNF," but a change is expected.
Per the Post, the network has also considered Brian Griese -- who has been Levy's partner on college football broadcasts -- and even its top college duo of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit for "MNF" in 2020.
--Field Level Media