Tony Romo and Philip Rivers were compared to each other a good amount while both of them were playing, and that trend may carry into their post-playing careers in an NFL broadcast booth.
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, several NFL TV networks "are eyeing Philip Rivers as the 'next Tony Romo.' " Considering the fact that some color commentary vacancies are available or could open up over the next few years — McCarthy mentions those of Louis Riddick and Troy Aikman, both of whom have been linked to front office rumors somewhat recently — Rivers' upcoming retirement could be met with several offers from these respective networks. McCarthy also floated the idea of Amazon or Apple looking in Rivers' direction, should either of the massive corporations land an NFL media package.
Rivers is well known as a great trash talker, a leader who is never afraid to express his opinions to teammates and coaches, and an altogether entertaining presence on the football field.
Of course, entertainment value isn't the only aspect of a good color commentator, and Rivers' knowledge of the game is on an elite tier. After all, he's played in the league for 17 years, he sat behind Drew Brees as a rookie, he's led playoff teams and last-place teams alike out West, and he's dealt with both his franchise changing its location and a late-career trade. He's been labeled by J.J. Watt and Frank Reich, among others, as one of the smartest guys in the entire NFL. He's been through it all — except for a Super Bowl.
But neither had Tony Romo at the conclusion of his career, and that didn't stop him from taking the NFL community by storm with his top-notch analysis alongside Jim Nance. In fact, it was impressive enough to earn him a record-breaking $17 million per year to stay at CBS.
Not a bad guy to be compared to, then, eh Mr. Rivers? And, as I mentioned before, it's not like these comparisons are new, though they came through a completely different lens last time around.
“We’re not deaf or blind to those comparisons,” Rivers said back in 2017, with reference to their playing careers (via ESPN). “I’ve heard that many times over the years. I think from a statistical standpoint yes, and from the standpoint that neither one of us were able to -- at least so far on my end -- have gotten our teams to a championship.
“But both of us have been a part of a lot of good teams, and a lot of wins. And we both started the same year when we took over the reins. I see the similarities. I’ve always kind of respected Tony from afar.”
In that same radio interview, Rivers said he "just [didn't] think" he'd ever go the announcing route, though he wasn't ready to completely shut the door. Still, being on the sidelines in some way was the more enticing option at the time for Rivers.
Now, with his 17th season coming to an end, a decision may be on the horizon. And should he go the Romo route and look to call games, he can likely expect plenty of networks ready with intriguing offers to come his way.