ESPN in Talks With Manning, Turned Down by NBC in Bid for Michaels: Report

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By RADIO.COM

ESPN was dealt a setback in its quest to assemble its ideal broadcasting team for Monday Night Football, according to a report.

NBC declined ESPN’s initial request to discuss a trade for play-by-play announcer Al Michaels, sources told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Michaels was previously reported to be ESPN’s first target for the role, while the network was said to be setting its sights on retired legend Peyton Manning for its analyst position.

Despite the setback regarding Michaels, ESPN hasn’t given up on acquiring Manning, according to Marchand, and has started negotiations with him in hopes of bringing him on board regardless of how talks for Michaels play out. Philip Rivers and Kurt Warner are also possibilities for the analyst role, the report says.

Michaels, 75, is under contract for two more years with NBC. Mike Tirico is said to be Michaels’ successor in the announcers’ booth for Sunday Night Football. ESPN, meanwhile, has not yet informed Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland that they will not return to the booth for MNF, according to Marchand.

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