Jon Gruden is getting paid. The one-time jewel of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team left his post as the network’s highest earner at $6.5 million per year to coach the Raiders, in a ridiculious $100 million deal over 10 seasons.
Play-by-play man Sean McDonough will need a new partner in the booth, and as it does with most things sports-related, Las Vegas has released betting odds on who will be Gruden’s replacement.
Here’s a look at five of the most intriguing candidates for the position, and then list of BetDSI Sportsbook’s betting odds:
Manning’s name was immediately mentioned as a candidate, as he’s a very well-spoken former quarterback — in the mold of Boomer Esiason, Troy Aikman and Tony Romo. He was dazzling as the most recent host of the ESPY awards and has a good working relationship with ESPN. However his post-football career has been extremely lucrative and he doesn’t seem to be in need of the seven-figure payday that will come with the job. He carries a 1-in-15 chance of being hired.
Tebow is already an ESPN analyst for college football and has been among the most popular football players in the country since his days winning National Championships at Florida. His inexperience is a negative, but his credentials with conservatives (on a network accused of being too liberal) is a plus.
Ryan might be the perfect candidate for the position on paper. He has broadcast experience on ESPN, an intimate knowledge of football as he coached two seasons ago in Buffalo, and can be outspoken and boisterous. But he has been underwhelming on the air thus far and might be too safe a choice.
Cutler was tagged to be the No. 2 man at FOX before he decided to return to football with the Dolphins. As Ryan Tannehill returns healthy next year and the NFL moves on from the Cutler era, it seems unlikely he will be a starter again and could return to broadcasting.
Not on thie list below, Simms was ousted from his booth position into the studio by CBS. If ESPN wants experience, Simms could be the perfect fit.
Steve Young +250
Matt Hasselbeck +350
Kurt Warner +500
Tim Tebow +750
Louis Riddick +800
Rex Ryan +900
Ronde Barber +1000
Ron Jaworski +1000
Randy Moss +1250
Peyton Manning +1500
Jay Cutler +2000
Bruce Arians +3000
Joe Thomas +5000