If Troy Aikman does indeed leave Fox to become the new Monday Night Football lead analyst with ESPN, it opens a significant role in Fox’s No. 1 announcer booth. The list of candidates that have been thrown out there to replace Aikman alongside Joe Buck ranges from no-brainers to no-chances.

The smart money appears to be on Greg Olsen, who is already Fox’s No. 2 analyst and has been long-rumored as Aikman’s heir apparent. There have also been a lot of rumors surrounding Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, who teased a move to TV last month. Former Saints coach Sean Payton has been thrown out there as someone Fox would love to have in the booth. San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch, who used to work for Fox as an analyst, has also been rumored.

An interesting name that has come up a bunch is Drew Brees. The former New Orleans Saints quarterback joined NBC Sports last year and has taken on a slew of roles, including Sunday Night Football studio analyst, Notre Dame TV analyst, and part-time NFL booth analyst. Unfortunately for him, Brees disappointed audiences with his performance during NBC’s broadcast of the Raiders–Bengals playoff game, as critics described him as “beyond vanilla,” “corporate,” and “not ready for the playoff stage.”

Still, TV executives seem to have high hopes about Brees and that’s been made clear about the fact that he’s been floated to replace Aikman for Fox. But how would that work if Drew has a contract with NBC? Well, in theory, the two networks make a trade, just like when he was a player. Essentially, the network that has a contract with the announcer allows the other network to negotiate a new one while getting some kind of compensation in return.

It wouldn’t be the first time networks have made a trade for an announcer. In fact, Al Michaels was “traded” from ESPN/ABC to NBC back in 2006 for “various sports considerations and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.” There were even rumors that Michaels could be traded back to ESPN in 2020, but those were kiboshed.

There have been other trade scenarios between networks as well.  As Awful Announcing’s Joe Lucia pointed out, ESPN traded Ryder Cup coverage to NBC for Premier League highlights in 2013.

While it seems unlikely that Fox would put in the effort to wrest Brees away from NBC when they have someone like Olsen in-house already, we’ll see if anything comes of it. But in the meantime, there were some interesting reactions to the possibility on social media.

[NY Post, AA]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.