Ever since ESPN got stood up by Tony Romo, the network is still looking for an analyst on Monday Night Football.
Before the fallout of the coronavirus, ESPN made a conscious effort to lure either Romo or Peyton Manning with an eight-figure annual salary.
However, Romo decided to return to CBS, while Manning declined their offer.
In their efforts to possibly succeed analyst Booger McFarland and play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore, the franchise has turned their attention to a former Indianapolis Colt.
The Search For Talent
On Thursday, ESPN named Phil Dean as the new producer of Monday Night Football.
He replaces Jay Rothman, who held that role since 2006.
At this time, the network has made no official announcements about changes that lie ahead.
That includes McFarland, Tessitore, and sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
According to the report, McAfee joins a list that includes Louis Riddick, Dan Orlovsky, and Steve Levy.
McAfee signed a multi-year deal with ESPN in July 2019 and has become one of the bright future faces of the network.
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) April 4, 2019
In addition to calling college football games, McAfee has made appearances on various ESPN shows and hosts “The Pat McAfee Show.”
He also hosts the “Pat McAfee Show 2.0” podcast and he works as a host for the WWE.
The Search Internally
The Walt Disney Company ordered executives from the vice-president level to absorb pay cuts of 20% to 30%.
ESPN then asked its top 100 highest paid talents to take a 15% pay cut for three months.
If the franchise is looking for someone to put on MNF, throwing money at an outsider would be ill-advised.
Disney’s theme parks have been hit hard and may not open up again until 2021, which has led to Disney freezing and/or cutting spending elsewhere.
With Disney cutting pay for on-air talent and executives alike, ESPN is now looking almost exclusively internally for ‘Monday Night Football’ candidates.
Top candidates include: Louis Riddick, Steve Levy, Dan Orlovsky, Brian Griese and Pat McAfee. https://t.co/YUcxWsvV2Y
— Front Office Sports (@frntofficesport) April 30, 2020
The Case For McAfee
McAfee was a placekicker for West Virginia until he was drafted by the Colts in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Over his eight-year career, he made two Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2014.
Since retiring from the league in 2017, McAfee has made a name for himself as an analyst in football and wrestling.
He is known for his fast takes that side winds clever material that can also be taken with a good laugh.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) August 10, 2018
As for his counterparts, McAfee has a more upbeat style.
Orlovsky would give McAfee some competition for the job.
He is well-regarded among the broadcasting community.
When we know who the real contenders are, we will be sure to update this story.