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Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson and the Wall Street Journal’s Andrew Beaton discuss Tom Brady’s gigantic contract from FOX to broadcast games as soon as he hangs up his cleats. Could FOX utilize Brady just as ESPN has done with Peyton Manning? Will the big money thrown Brady’s way lure Peyton into the booth? And will the star quarterbacks of today’s NFL call it a career a few years earlier knowing they can make huge money as a broadcaster? Hear the full conversation on the You Pod to Win the Game podcast. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I wonder if maybe FOX is sitting there and going, we can kind of turn this guy into a little bit of a mini franchise for us in some way, shape, or form the way that ESPN really has with Peyton Manning. I don't think anyone-- in terms of what Peyton has done post career, I don't think anyone's enhanced him more at least off the field than ESPN has, right?
So maybe FOX part of this deal is sort of looking at it like he's our Peyton. He's our Peyton. He's our Peyton personality. He's someone that we can turn into a franchise beyond just the games. And that's ultimately what this nebulous sort of ambassador idea is really packaging.
ANDREW BEATON: And the other thing I was thinking about with Peyton is that-- I have no idea what he's been offered by the various networks over the years. But it's always been clear that he's been a wanted man in the booth.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Right.
ANDREW BEATON: And we've got the "Manningcast" last year. And I think it was fabulous for anybody who watched it. As you said, it really showed his personality. It brought out a lot of the best in him.
But I wonder with now, a $37 and 1/2 million deal on the table, there's probably only one person around who can come close to matching it, maybe exceed it in if the circumstances are right, and that would be Peyton Manning.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Right.
ANDREW BEATON: And I don't know where, which network. But it makes me wonder if at some point this makes him look at his situation and say, maybe I can move to the booth and strike just a crazy, crazy deal.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I'll tell you what too. All of these elite level quarterbacks, the guys who kind of have a pretty high [? IQ ?] rating as it is, if you're not sitting there right now thinking [BLEEP] like, my football career has been great. But, man, I can't wait to retire.
Feasibly, we could see multiple guys make half a billion dollars in their NFL career and then move on to television to make another half a billion dollars over the next, you know, 15, 20 years. It's going to be really interesting to see how that dynamic sort of infuses itself into and just-- I mean, do you see any guys right now where you're like, hey-- especially these-- you know, quarterbacks, I think, are unique.
Because when you get Romo, Manning-- I think when Russell Wilson went on to the-- went on to the "Manningcast," you watched them kind of dialogue out the game as you're watching it. And that's part of what's fascinating. And then also the general reaction of these individuals to what just happened on the field, to hear Tony Romo criticize somebody in real time, to hear Russell Wilson-- I remember when he was on the "Manningcast," Russell Wilson said a couple of things. I'm like, damn, man, you still got to go on a field. And you're like kind of ripping some guys.
It's-- I think that's what makes the quarterback's unique is that not only can they diagnose things in real time through the eyes of players that we all kind of want to see. But when they also-- when they're critical, it's pretty interesting I mean, whenever Peyton's been critical or emotional in things that he sees, when he sees a dumb play and he puts his head in his hands, that's great theater for all these guys.
ANDREW BEATON: So you stole the name out of my mouth. My answer was going to be Russell Wilson. I mean, he was so good on "Manningcast," and--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
ANDREW BEATON: --I think one of the things that really differentiates the good broadcasters and the good commentators from the great ones is their willingness to be mean, right?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah.
ANDREW BEATON: It seems-- you know, when you have the broadcaster on there being like, you know, sometimes this just happens. And they're getting all mealymouthed and--
CHARLES ROBINSON: Right, right.
ANDREW BEATON: --stumbling through their words because they know they're going to have to sit in a production meeting with the guy again in four weeks. They probably heard what he said. You know, that makes it so tame, so bland.
And when you have a quarterback, who's just in there saying like, you know, this guy ran the wrong route. Or that's a catch you have to make, and he has to go apologize to the quarterback. Or this quarterback missed the read. And they're just saying it like it is, as a watcher, it is so much better.
And I think that's maybe the biggest question for Brady. Like, in the booth, can he do that? But we saw Russell Wilson do it. And when I was thinking about a guy like Russell Wilson doing something like this, the Tom Bradys, the Aaron Rodgers, the Ben Roethlisbergers have sort of conditioned us to thinking quarterbacks can play forever at this point. And that our standard definition of when they can play to in a career is really changing.
But I wonder if, for some of these elite guys, this changes the way they think about it. Like, you know, Russell Wilson-- and just to make up a name-- you know, what if he gets a silly offer at age 36 or something and says-- and he could definitely play for five more years. But, you know, now, there's a really viable alternative where theoretically, if you're good enough, popular enough, you're broadcasting salary can essentially mirror this.
So it's not like you're taking down-- taking away what you're going to be making as an absurd salary in the NFL. And you can save your brain, save your head, avoid the hits, avoid the daily wear-and-tear. I don't know. It makes me wonder if we'll see a couple of shocking early retirements.