Splitting time between NFL Network, FS1 makes more sense for Michael Irvin than working for NFLN, ESPN

Amid a report, unconfirmed by FS1 or Michael Irvin, that Irvin will be joining the new rotating cast of Undisputed, his status with NFL Network remains unresolved, 16 days before the start of the 2023 NFL regular season.

There are two basic possibilities, if he ends up with Undisputed: (1) he'll stay with NFL Network; or (2) he won't.

He could pull off double duty with NFL Network much more easily than his prior arrangement with NFLN and ESPN, which had him flying back and forth across the country. NFL Network and FS1 have their studios in very close proximity in Southern California. The geography makes far more sense.

The question becomes what happens at NFL Network? However it plays out, the clock is ticking toward kickoff. He'll either be back on GameDay (he's still listed on the cast), or he won't.

If/when the FS1 deal becomes official, one thing that becomes clear is that Irvin surely won't be working for ESPN, too. As a practical matter, his First Take seat will be filled by Shannon Sharpe, once that deal becomes official.

But Irvin could indeed make a comeback to NFLN while working at FS1. As explained yesterday, it’s time for the NFL to make a decision on Irvin — and it's very hard to understand how he could be fired for something he allegedly said in a public place to someone who isn't a coworker. That kind of outcome creates a dangerous precedent for the league when it comes to other non-players accused of misconduct, specifically owners.