Legendary NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, who retired from football in 2016, is the focus of efforts by ESPN to land a high-profile analyst for “Monday Night Football,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell made a trip to Denver on March 11 to meet with Manning, who has been mentioned before for a broadcast role,” THR reports. “But it’s unclear whether Manning is interested in pursuing a career as an analyst at this time. He’s done some player breakdowns for the ESPN+ show ‘Detail.’ He’s also a successful television pitchman, showing off some comedic chops in spots for Nationwide Insurance, Papa John’s and Mastercard.”
The report adds: “The network needs to replace Jason Witten, who in February announced that he would return to the Dallas Cowboys after one gaffe-heavy season alongside ESPN play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore and fellow analyst Booger McFarland. Manning’s name surfaced last year when ESPN was looking to replace Jon Gruden. Kurt Warner also has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Witten.”
ESPN wasn’t commenting.