This news doesn’t really have anything to do with the Seattle Seahawks, but it’s generally important news in the sense that anything related to top broadcasters and top commentators affects us as viewing and listening fans of the NFL as a whole.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was an instant sensation replacing Phil Simms as the lead analyst for the NFL on CBS. With free agency approaching and ESPN interested in bringing him on board for Monday Night Football, CBS ponied up the money.
A lot of money.
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported that CBS has signed Romo to a lucrative contract that is worth about $17 million per season. Even adjusting for inflation, this will make him the highest paid NFL television analyst of all-time. He has shattered the previous record held by John Madden, who commanded $8 million per year when he went to FOX. For context, Romo only had three seasons as an actual NFL quarterback in which he earned at least $17 million in total cash.
Romo works alongside play-by-play man Jim Nantz on the #1 game of the weekend for CBS. While CBS is the AFC network, cross-flexing allows for some all-NFC matchups to go to CBS (and conversely, all-AFC matchups to FOX). As such, the Seahawks have had a couple of Nantz/Romo games, albeit losses to the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints.
No doubt CBS will also be looking to retain the ability to broadcast its current Sunday package when the new television deals are up at the end of the 2022 season.
Personally, I think the shine has come off Romo, the drop in substantive analysis outside of the pre-snap reads is a bit of a disappointment. Still, would you rather listen to Romo or endure Phil Simms struggling to even state the obvious? I thought so. Tony’s got infectious enthusiasm that few others have.
Now the next question... how much money will it take for ESPN to keep Booger McFarland for comedic relief on Monday Night Football?