As reported earlier this year, Peyton Manning once again turned down ESPN’s offer for him to become an analyst on “Monday Night Football.”
One would think such an offer would not be extended to him again, but Manning, speaking at Broncos OTAs on Thursday, seemed to hint that the network’s offer is open-ended.
“I talked to the ‘Monday Night Football’ folks,” Manning told reporters. “I enjoyed talking to them. I had (a) great conversation. It wasn’t the right time this year. Maybe it will never be.”
That last part, “Maybe it will never be,” leaves the impression Manning might be given the opportunity to join the “MNF” booth next year … or even further down the road, whenever the time is “right” for him.
The network first targeted the retired quarterback after Jon Gruden left his analyst post to coach the Raiders last season. This year, ESPN eyed Manning to replace Jason Witten, who unexpectedly left after one season to end his NFL retirement and return as a player with the Cowboys.
With Manning declining the offer, ESPN will go with a two-person booth next season, featuring Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland, with Lisa Salters roaming the sidelines.
Manning, who is already active in sports media hosting shows on ESPN Plus, has also been mentioned as a possibility in the past for various front-office jobs around the NFL.