Before NFL broadcaster Joe Buck left FOX Sports for ESPN this spring, he was offered an interesting proposition. He and color analyst Troy Aikman tested the free-agent market back in February. FOX Sports executives floated the idea of Buck being paired with Tom Brady in the booth.
In an interview on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz over the weekend, Buck shared this story and his initial reaction to it.
“I didn’t think it was completely realistic,” Joe Buck said. “I’m still not 100 percent sure.”
Of course, at the time, Brady was in retirement limbo. He called it “quits” on February 1 and then “returned” on March 13. Meanwhile, Buck and Aikman announced their signings with ESPN on March 16.
They both inked five-year deals – Buck’s for a reported $60-to-70 million and Aikman’s for $92.5 million.
Joe Buck Chooses Comfortability Over Excitement
Joe Buck went on to share that he moved along to ESPN for a number of reasons. Most of all, his level of comfortability with Aikman outweighed the intrigue of working with Brady, or another announcer.
“Staying with Troy, it’s a known quantity for me at 53 years old at a place that’s now got Super Bowls,” Buck explained. “I’d rather take the known person and someone I enjoy working with.”
Play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and analyst Joe Davis will take over next season for Buck and Aikman as FOX Sports’ primary NFL duo. Buck and Aikman have worked together for the past 20 years. They will continue to do so on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Brady has a standing 10-year, $375 million contract on the table to call games for FOX Sports once he retires – whenever that may be. He would presumably take over for Davis and work alongside Burkhardt.
Joe Buck thinks Brady will excel at the job whenever he commits to it fully.
“There are a lot of people who have just been phenomenal players, wonderful people, smart, can talk. But then you just have to see,” Buck said. “I expect him to be great because he’s great at everything.”