On Sunday, Tony Romo possibly called his final game for CBS. His contract is expiring and ESPN reportedly is planning to make Romo an eight-figure annual offer.
But there’s a catch. As noted by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, CBS has a right to match any offer that Romo receives elsewhere. So if CBS wants Romo no matter what, ESPN (or anyone else) may simply be negotiating Romo’s next CBS deal. For free.
Ourand reports that CBS “is prepared to be competitive” when it comes to keeping Romo.
There are surely other factors, and Ourand outlines them. From Romo’s on-air partner to the production team to the audience size to the quality of games to total workload (ESPN may want him to do more than simply call games) to good, old-fashioned loyalty, it could be hard to pry Romo away from CBS.
Still, Romo’s status becomes the NFL broadcasting equivalent of Tom Brady‘s next contract. Unlike Brady, however, Romo’s current employer holds a right of first refusal.