Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
ESPN is pursuing former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning for a Monday Night Football gig following Jason Witten’s decision to resume his playing career, according to Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie.
Guthrie reported ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell made a trip to Denver on March 11 to meet with Manning about a potential role in the booth.
It’s not clear what level of interest he has in the job.
This report comes after Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Manning rejected prime-time broadcast roles with both ESPN and Fox last year because he did not want “to be a ‘critic at this point.'”
Jonathan Maze @jonathanmaze
“I don’t want to be a critic at this point,” Peyton Manning says, saying it doesn’t feel right to become a broadcaster. Also says he enjoys just being a “fan.”
“I still do too many commercials.”
More specifically, he reportedly did not want to be in the booth for any games featuring his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Marchand wrote that Fox was willing to accommodate Manning by keeping Giants games off its Thursday prime-time schedule.
Marchand noted that Manning had a “strong” desire last year. However, Marchand added that the future Hall of Famer’s “top desire” is to run a team at some point in the future.
The 42-year-old former quarterback has now been out of football for three years after retiring following the 2015 season. He spent 18 years in the NFL during his record-breaking career, known for his arm as well as his pre-snap reads.
Manning is a five-time NFL MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion.
Earlier this month, Witten ended his one-year retirement to return to the Dallas Cowboys. According to Todd Archer, ESPN said it would announce its Monday Night Football plans for the 2019 season in the “coming weeks.”