The fallout from Tom Brady’s gobsmacking deal to join Fox Sports when he retires from the NFL continues.
On the “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast,” a joint venture between The Post and Sports Business Journal, reporters Andrew Marchand and John Ourand broke down the deal.
Marchand said the money kept “escalating and escalating” for Brady until he said yes, while Ourand diagnosed the situation from Fox’s perspective.
“When Troy Aikman wanted to get out of his contract, and started talking with Amazon, and started talking with ESPN, and made it public — he would answer any question that was sent his way — it irritated the folks at Fox,” Ourand said.
“As soon as he started to make those entreaties, it wasn’t just that Tom Brady was on a list. They started talking to him. Tom Brady was deciding between going back and playing football, or going to Fox. And he ended up going to play football. We both thought at that time that his negotiations with Fox had been tabled to next offseason, or whenever he retires. At no point did we think those negotiations were continuing to go along to where they would announce it on Tuesday.”
This past January, before he and Joe Buck left Fox for ESPN, Aikman publicly talked about how his time with Fox might be coming to an end. He acknowledged the NFC Championship game could be his last with the network.
“It could be, yeah. I don’t anticipate that but it could be,” Aikman told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in January.
He mentioned Amazon as a competing bidder for his services.
“Those conversations are happening now,” Aikman said. “And I’m really being as honest as I can be about it. I really don’t know what it’s gonna look like when it’s all said and done and it does get settled. As to whether I’ll be working for Fox and Amazon, whether I’ll just be working for Fox or whether I’ll just be working for Amazon. I really don’t know what might happen.”
While Aikman ultimately did not go to Amazon, it was these comments and other ones like them that Ourand mentioned as irritating Fox brass.
It is unknown exactly when Brady will begin working with Kevin Burkhardt in the Fox booth — that will be contingent upon when he finally decides to retire from playing football for good — but Marchand reported Tuesday that his deal with Fox Sports will be for 10 years at a total of $375 million.