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Report: ESPN ready to offer Peyton Manning up to $20 million per year

There may already be a new sheriff in town. And it’s The Sheriff.

Michael McCarthy of reports that ESPN is ready to offer Peyton Manning $18 million to $20 million per year to serve as an analyst on Monday Night Football.

The development comes less than a week after CBS kept Tony Romo in place for a deal reportedly worth $18 million per year, when ESPN was prepared to try to pilfer him. The development also comes at a time when some believe ABC and ESPN are poised to make the NFL a massive offer that would, among other things, move Monday Night Football to ABC and return ABC to the Super Bowl rotation.

ESPN has been trying to hire Manning ever since he retired from the NFL four years ago. Most recently, he declined because he didn’t want to work games involving his brother, Eli. Now that Eli is retired, too, that’s no longer an issue.

Peyton’s last NFL contract had a $19.2 million annual payout.