Could Tom Brady Become the Highest-Paid Sports Broadcaster of All Time?

by Chris Haney

Earlier this week, 7-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady brought an end to his illustrious NFL career. As the 44-year-old quarterback confirmed his retirement, speculation about his next steps after football became a prominent topic of discussion. One option that has been thrown around is the possibility of Brady entering the broadcast booth. If he did, he’d immediately become the highest-paid broadcaster of all-time.

No matter what Tom Brady decides to do next, he’ll command huge wages from any venture he’s involved with. Someone’s going to have to pay up for the greatest NFL player of all-time’s services. Brady himself has not suggested that’s he’s interested in becoming a broadcaster. However, that isn’t stopping networks from already reaching out to gauge TB12’s interest.

Front Office Sports‘ Michael McCarthy recently shared that networks started putting out feelers as soon as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost in the playoffs a couple weeks ago. McCarthy says FOX Sports, ESPN, and Amazon, which will air Thursday Night Football beginning next season, are all interested in Brady joining their broadcast team. If Brady does decide to explore his options as an analyst or broadcaster, he’ll have no issue commanding millions.

“Brady would be worth his weight in gold. The opening bid would be $20 million a year — and it could go as high as $25 million. That would be for either games or the studio. There’s no way in hell Brady would make less than Romo,” a source explained to Front Office Sports.

Sports marketing expert and creative director at Pinnacle Advertising SF, Bob Dorfman, shared similar thoughts on networks recruiting Tom Brady.

“You’d see an all-out blitz by every company with an NFL interest to sign him. It would take 8 figures to get the GOAT to sign a multi-year deal,” Dorfman said. 

Other Elite Quarterbacks Have Paved the Way For Tom Brady to Enter Broadcasting

The precedent has already been set for elite NFL quarterbacks working in the broadcast booth or in the studio. For example, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, and most recently Peyton and Eli Manning have transitioned to that side of the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw has been a staple of FOX NFL Sunday since it premiered in 1994. Dallas Cowboys icon Troy Aikman has been part of the No. 1 broadcast team in football alongside Joe Buck for almost 20 years.

Another famous Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, has flourished as a broadcaster since joining CBS. Following his 2017 retirement, Romo went directly into the booth alongside Jim Nantz. He’s become well-known for predicting plays and their outcomes mid-game even before they happen. Romo reportedly makes $18 million annually under his current deal, but Tom Brady would command even more than that.

Likewise, the Manning brothers have entered the frey as well. Both Peyton and Eli took some time off following their respective retirements in 2016 and 2020. But they now have their own alternate broadcast to Monday Night Football called the Manningcast. It’s been wildly popular since it debuted earlier this season, and Tom Brady even made an appearance on the show with his two friendly rivals.

It’ll be interesting to see what Brady does next now that he’s hung up his cleats after 22 seasons in the league. He’s spoken at length about wanting to spend time with his family, so that seems to be the focus for now. Yet we all know about his legendary competitiveness and love for the game. If he does decide to get into broadcasting, he’ll surely be as much of a hit off the field as he was on the gridiron.