ESPN should break the bank for Peyton Manning to replace Jason Witten

By Jesse Reed

The big news on Thursday reverberating around the NFL is that Jason Witten is leaving his ESPN NFL analyst job to re-join the Dallas Cowboys after taking a year off.

While it’s true that “Monday Night Football” was considered by many to be a joke due to Witten’s constant gaffes, this decision does leave the sports broadcasting giant with a huge, prominent vacancy.

It’s a vacancy that Peyton Manning should fill.

Granted, ESPN has some other in-house candidates that could potentially take over for Witten. Dan Orlovsky has been slaying it recently and could be a much cheaper option. Booger McFarland is already on the “Monday Night Football” crew and could slide right into the booth this next season. Matt Hasselbeck could also be an option.

But when it comes to putting the best product in the booth, there’s no doubt Manning is a cut above the rest. His detailed film breakdowns on the ESPN+ show “Detail” are incredible and give some insight into what he would bring to the booth.

Simply put, Manning is a natural in front of the camera. In addition to his work with ESPN this past year, Manning has always been one of the most popular sports personalities starring in commercials. He was also always very good in press conferences during his playing career, and his knowledge of the game is peerless.

ESPN would certainly have to make Manning a huge offer to take on the responsibilities that come with the job. But if he were signed to take over as the color commentator for “Monday Night Football,” it would give ESPN the kind of superstar in the booth that CBS has with Tony Romo right now.

And after last year’s disastrous lineup, signing Manning would give “Monday Night Football” the kind of legitimate clout it needs going forward.