Tom Brady is still playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he's already got a job lined up when he decides to hang up his helmet.
During an earnings call on Tuesday, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced that Brady will be joining Fox Sports when he retires, taking the role of lead NFL analyst.
Tom Brady has agreed to join Fox Sports as its lead NFL analyst whenever he stops playing, Lachlan Murdoch announced.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 10, 2022
He'll be calling games with Kevin Burkhardt, who is replacing Joe Buck this season after Buck and his broadcast partner Troy Aikman left for ESPN earlier this year. With Burkhardt in the Buck seat, Brady will essentially be the new Aikman — whenever he retires, that is. In a tweet shortly after Murdoch made the announcement, Brady said — as he has many times over the years — that he has "unfinished business" to take care of first.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 10, 2022
Murdoch said that Brady “will not only call our biggest NFL games with Kevin Burkhardt, but will also serve as an ambassador for us, particularly with respect to client and promotional initiatives.” Murdoch also said that the timeline for Brady to join Fox Sports is uncertain, likely meaning that he hasn't revealed to Fox when he's going to permanently retire.
Brady, 44, surprised everyone when he announced his retirement in January, only to reverse his decision about 40 days later. But this news means that retirement is definitely still on his mind.
How much is Fox paying Brady?
Murdoch didn't reveal any details about the deal with Brady, so we don't officially know how much money Fox is shelling out for the pleasure of being Brady's first post-retirement job. But two reports have surfaced about his contract, and both numbers will make your mouth drop to the floor.
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, Fox will pay Brady $20 million a year as an analyst once he retires, with the full contract reportedly worth around $200 million over 10 years. That would be the richest contract in sports broadcasting history.
However, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Fox is paying Brady more than that. Much, much more. According to Marchand, Fox is giving Brady a 10-year, $375 million contract to join the network after retirement, which would be the richest contract in sports broadcasting history by far.
If we go by Marchand's report, Brady is reportedly set to make $37.5 million a year as an NFL analyst, which is more than double what other NFL broadcasters make. Buck will reportedly make between $12 million and $15 million a year at ESPN. His broadcast partner Troy Aikman will make $18 million at ESPN, as will CBS' Tony Romo.
Wild offseason for NFL broadcasters
Brady's new job is just the latest development in an unexpectedly wild time NFL analysts. Once the regular season ended, the world of NFL broadcasting got shaken up like Yahtzee dice.
The future of NFL games is now set to look like this:
CBS: Jim Nantz and Tony Romo
FOX: Kevin Burkhardt and Tom Brady (once done playing)
NBC: Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth
ESPN: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman
Amazon: Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 10, 2022
Al Michaels, who spent decades calling NFL games on network television, got snapped up by Amazon's Prime Video for their "Thursday Night Football" broadcasts after NBC declined to renew his contract. Mike Tirico is replacing him on NBC, and he'll call games with Cris Collinsworth.
Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, Fox Sports' ace NFL broadcasting team, both jumped ship to ESPN and landed major contracts, leaving two open seats at Fox. Burkhardt was elevated to Buck's old job, and Brady will be joining him in a year or two. Fox hasn't announced who will sit beside Burkhardt until then — Greg Olsen was his partner last season — but it'll have to be someone who's fine with being a seat-warmer for Brady.