Troy Aikman would 'love' for Joe Buck to join him at ESPN

Troy Aikman's $90-million move from Fox to ESPN broke up one of sports broadcasting's longest-tenured duos.

Or did it?

The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported last week that ESPN was interested in luring Joe Buck from Fox to join Aikman in the "Monday Night Football" booth. On Monday, Aikman addressed the topic while speaking with WFAA's Mike Leslie. He left no doubt where he stands. He wants to continue the partnership he started with Buck in 2002.

"I think a lot of partners get along, but to be as good friends as what we are — he truly is one of my best friends," Aikman said of Buck. ... "He's been a fantastic partner, in my opinion the best in the business. Yeah, there's nothing I'd love more than to continue to work with him."

Aikman also alluded to "more that could be said" and "disappointment" about their relationship "being taken for granted by some," which may have been a shot at Fox and part of an effort to pitch Buck on joining him at ESPN. Whatever did or didn't happen behind the scenes will likely be secondary in Buck's decision — to the money, of course.

Troy Aikman, right, and Joe Buck work before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. With the Fall Classic going the full seven games the past two seasons, Joe Buck is preparing for Boston and Los Angeles to go the distance as well. The World Series also comes in the midst of the busiest month of Buck’s 25-year career at Fox. He normally does only baseball once the League Championship Series begin, but he has added Thursday Night Football to his schedule. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Troy Aikman called Joe Buck "one of my best friends" and "the best in the business."(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

With Amazon on the block with "Thursday Night Football" rights, there has never been a better time to be an A-list NFL broadcaster — or perceived as one. Aikman's new deal with ESPN dwarfs his career earnings ($55.5 million) as a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Sean McVay, meanwhile, is leveraging broadcast booth interest for a raise from the Los Angeles Rams.

Buck may be polarizing among viewers but he's one of the game's most trusted and respected voices. He's going to get paid. It's just a matter of who signs the checks. As far as Aikman is concerned, he's pulling for ESPN.