Tom Brady or Greg Olsen? Fox has a future decision to make over its No. 1 analyst
The apparent story of Sunday’s NFC championship game revolves around unexpected stars.
There is Philadelphia Eagles quarterback It hurts to eatThe 24-year-old entered the season with questions about his coach’s ability to now be an MVP candidate He is compared to no less than Michael Jordan.
And then… Retired Greg Olsen, 37, a mostly small-market finalist after a wild shakeup in the NFL broadcast ranks last year, became Fox’s lead game analyst and quickly became a favorite with viewers and critics. for its clear and easy way.
Yes, that’s right, Olsen will be in the booth at Lincoln Financial Stadium describing the action of two professional spirits; each of them gave a dream job, although no one was really sold on their ability, but to go beyond. the wildest hope.
Like Hurts (the 53rd overall draft pick in 2020) and Purdy (262 in 2022), Olsen wasn’t anyone’s first choice for his job.
However, unlike Hurts and Purdy, it is the broadcaster who may not be in control of his professional destiny.
Olsen did not become a full-time broadcaster until 2021. He had the opportunity for a higher position only because of it. Longtime Fox partners Joe Buck and Troy Aikman moved to ESPN in a mega-money deal last offseason.
Fox promoted Olsen alongside Kevin Burkhardt on a de facto interim basis.
The long-term plan became clear last May when Fox signed on Tom Brady to one A 10-year, $375 million contract to be the network’s top gaming analyst “immediately following his playing career.”
At the time, Brady was expected to play the 2022 season and then, at age 45, finally retire. There was even speculation that he would already be calling the games (Tampa Bay’s season ended in the wild card round) and certainly for next month’s Super Bowl, which is being broadcast by Fox.
Brady, however, has not decided whether he will play another year or not. Fox has said he has no plans to use him in this Super Bowl and Burkhardt-Olsen’s team will call the game.
However, there is an inevitable awkwardness hanging over it. Brady is the choice.
“During this long-term agreement, Tom will not only call our biggest NFL games with Kevin Burkhardt, but will also serve as our ambassador, particularly when it comes to customer and promotional initiatives,” Fox said last May.
It’s that second part — dealing with clients and doing promotional work — that helped Brady earn a salary of $37.5 million a year, or double the $18 million a year ESPN paid Aikman to switch networks.
Tom Brady is, of course, Tom Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion and internationally renowned icon. He is the one who can help play golf with a CEO.
Greg Olsen is that guy who used to be a really good tight end for Carolina.
So it all made sense…until Olsen began charming audiences this season with an elite and personable delivery style. It was never better than in these playoffs. It was especially strong in the hot and potentially messy final minutes of San Francisco’s 19-12 victory over Dallas on Sunday.
“Greg Olsen is a fantastic weekly NFL game caller,” ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky tweeted last week. “… Ready. on time smart He teaches The story tells. Make it not about him but about the game. Amazing”.
Fox seems to have stumbled on their 1st color commentator for the future…except they put a small fortune on him for the future, if only for the future. no one has any idea if Brady will be a good color commentator.
As a player, no one is better than Brady. And given his ability to excel in most things he applies himself to, he’s sure to do a great job in his next job as well.
However, being a great player and being a great broadcaster are not the same thing. He didn’t call the actual games. No replays from leveling up.
He’s done commercials, hosted “Saturday Night Live” and launched a podcast a few years ago, but that’s mostly been interviewing host Jim Gray. Making sense of a live game is a whole other animal.
And while the public may know Tom Brady, that doesn’t mean he’ll like calling the games.
Brady, of course, was once in the Hurts/Purdy/Olsen spot. He was the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, arriving in New England as the fourth-string quarterback with little hope of surpassing highly paid veteran Drew Bledsoe.
Given his chance due to an injury to Bledsoe, however, he never looked back.
Now, he’s a big-name, big-money guy who can stand in the way of someone who took advantage of his professional opportunity.
Still, there’s almost no way Fox can pay Brady that much money and not air his biggest game of the week. That likely sends Olsen to a small game on Sunday and not much exposure in the postseason. Or Fox could try a three-person cabin.
Regardless, it’s still a great gig for Olsen, and Fox must love that she has such depth.
It is also an undeniably rare situation.
Either way, Olsen will be at the microphone on Sunday. So enjoy calling the big game while you can. He’s one of the NFL’s freshman stars this season, but unlike the others, he may not be around for long.
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