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Report: ESPN, FOX both trying to sign Peyton Manning as prime time analyst

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Peyton Manning has resisted going into the television business, but ESPN and FOX are trying to get him into the broadcast booth.

Two of the marquee NFL color commentary jobs are available, and Peyton Manning has his choice of either one of them.

ESPN’s Monday Night Football booth hasn’t found its replacement for Jon Gruden, and FOX hasn’t said who will call its new Thursday Night Football package. But Manning would be the top choice for both networks, according to the New York Post.

The report indicates that if Manning wants the job, he could command several million dollars a year for it. The only question is whether he wants the job. So far, Manning has shied away from doing television in retirement, other than appearing in commercials.

Who would Manning’s on-air partner be? It sounds like he’d be given the opportunity to have some input in that decision. Sean McDonough is ESPN’s play-by-play guy, but he could be replaced with someone like Joe Tessitore, Steve Levy or Dave Pasch, according to the report. FOX has not said who its play-by-play voice on Thursday nights will be, but if Manning gets the commentary job he’d likely have a say in who would join him in the booth.

Manning is said to covet a job running a team’s front office. Seeing John Lynch successfully transition from TV analyst to General Manager of the 49ers may make Manning more interested in working TV while he looks for the right NFL job.

If Manning does want to work on TV, he has the opportunity to have a Tony Romo-like impact in his first season, and instantly become one of the most popular analysts on television.