NBC is in negotiations with former Cincinnati Bengals receiver Cris Collinsworth on contract that would pay him about $12.5 million per season to keep him as its lead “Sunday Night Football” analyst into 2025, according to a report Wednesday from NYPost.com’s Andrew Marchand.
Collinsworth, 62, was a three-time Pro Bowler for the Bengals who spent his entire National Football League career (1981-88) with Cincinnati.
It’s not Romo money, but it is certainly not bad. Aikman could receive a similar payday if he exclusively worked a Fox schedule. Maybe Aikman will be satisfied with that outcome.
However, starting next year, Amazon Prime Video will take over the exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football,” and the streaming platform will team with NBC Sports. The games will not appear on NBC, but Amazon will use NBC’s production.
“Sunday Night Football” producer Fred Gaudelli will oversee the main broadcast. The plan is for Al Michaels to be the play-by-player. Amazon has not yet finalized a deal with Michaels.
NBC’s plan is for Mike Tirico to replace Michaels as the full-time SNF play-by-player next year. To go a long with Amazon, Michaels, 77, will be offered a reduced role with NBC, doing select games, including one in the postseason.
On Sundays next season, Tirico will be joined by Collinsworth, not Drew Brees. NBC lured Brees over ESPN in a pursuit that occurred before Brees finished playing.
In 2020, Marchand reported that Brees signed with NBC Sports and would be groomed as the potential SNF replacement for Collinsworth.
Collinsworth started working with his son, Jac – a former Highlands High School football player and University of Notre Dame graduate – in 2020 when Jac left ESPN for NBC Sports.
Michaels, Collinsworth’s long-time broadcast partner, came to Cincinnati in 1971 and was replaced in the Reds’ broadcast booth in 1974 by Marty Brennaman. He was honored in Cooperstown earlier this year as the winner of 2021 Ford C. Frick Award.