TAMPA — It’s good to know Tom Brady will have a job in football when he’s really ready to hang up his cleats. He’ll be handed a golden microphone.
The seven-time Super Bowl winner will join Fox Sports as their lead analyst for NFL games, the network announced Tuesday.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, the deal with Fox will pay Brady $375 million over 10 years, the richest deal for an NFL analyst ever. CBS pays former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo $18 million per year, thought to be the highest among current NFL broadcasters.
Brady will call NFL games with Kevin Burkhardt and serve as “an ambassador for us, particularly with respect to client and promotional initiatives,” the network said.
“We are delighted Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” Fox corporation executive chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch said.
Brady, who turns 45 in August, has one year remaining on his contract with the Bucs that will pay him approximately $30 million.
Brady “retired” on Feb. 1, only to change his mind and announce he was returning to the playing field about six weeks later before the start of free agency.
Of course, it’s a big commitment for Brady, who said that he has felt the pull of wanting to spend more time with his wife and three children.
There is a lot of work involved behind the scenes in broadcasting, from studying depth charts and tape to production meetings with players and coaches the day before the game. Brady could be looking at flying to a different city for up to 17 weeks during the regular season if he agrees to do that many games.
Bucs quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen said Tuesday that he knows Brady will be as successful in broadcasting as he has been as a quarterback or in any business endeavor.
“Anything he does, he does well,” Christensen said. “Right? So if you told me, ‘Hey, he’s going to become a plumber,’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, he’ll end up being a great plumber.’ That’s just how he approaches things. ... I think he’ll do a great job in there. You’re talking about a guy who has done this thing for a couple decades plus and it’s just the experiences.
“There’s still something about someone who has played quarterback that no one else has. I don’t care, any other position, you can play 100 years and you just haven’t done what a quarterback has done. I think it’s just a unique position because the stress, the demands, the leadership aspect of it that only a quarterback could have. I don’t have any doubt if that’s the way he goes with his post-football life, post-playing life that he’s going to excel at it and be exceptional at it.”
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Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich called Brady a “football junkie” and believes it will be great for viewers to hear that.
“It’s crazy when you’re 45, you have to think about your next job when you’re still playing football, right?” Leftwich said. “You have to do this early, right? But it’s the way he sees football. That’s what I love. That’s what makes our relationship unique, the way he sees football. ... He’s had an interesting perspective on the position and I think it would be great for everyone to hear it, to see/hear how he’s wired, the way that he sees football. ...
“The fact that you get the best ever to play the quarterback position, have an opportunity to listen to him talk about football — a year from now, two years from now — it’s a great thing.”
Brady will be the natural replacement for Troy Aikman, who jumped from Fox to ESPN with Joe Buck to call games on Monday Night Football.
The network did not indicate when Brady will leave the playing field for the broadcast booth.
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