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Report: Joe Buck leaving Fox Sports early to become voice of MNF on ESPN

Jason Burgos
joe buck, espn
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The voice for many of Fox Sports’ biggest broadcasts over the last two decades, Joe Buck, is taking his widely recognized talents to ESPN to join long-time booth buddy Troy Aikman.

On Friday, the New York Post broke the news that the 52-year-old announcer had agreed to a deal with the sports broadcasting powerhouse ESPN. The deal is reportedly for five years and is worth between $60 and $75 million. The deal is expected to be finalized soon.

Joe Buck expected to sign 5 year deal, worth as much at $75 million with ESPN

Despite having one year left on his contract with Fox Sports, for $11 million, the outlet claims sources informed them the network gave their voice for six Super Bowls permission to talk with ESPN on Friday. Fox Sports’ decision to let, arguably, their greatest play-by-play talent ever to walk a year early from his deal was reportedly viewed as “a good gesture [from Fox] for his years of service to the company.”

Unsurprisingly, the cable network jumped at the chance to sign up Buck and pair him with their recent television addition in Aikman. In February, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback legend also ended his run with Fox Sports and signed with ESPN for a similar five-year mega-deal. With the expectation of him being a lead voice on their retooled version of Monday Night Football.

Fox Sports seems ready to move on from the Buck and Aikman era

joe buck, espn
Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It seems that Fox Sports has come to terms with the unavoidable change to their top NFL broadcast booth team. Along with letting Buck walk a year early, Aikman claimed in an interview on Thursday, that when he became a free agent earlier this year, his long-time TV employer did not put up much of a fight to bring him back.

“When negotiations couldn’t reach what I felt was fair value, I was able to negotiate an opt-out after six months which allowed me to be a free agent,” Aikman said on 1310 The Ticket in Dallas [h/t New York Post]. “Then Fox never jumped into the game. They never made an offer. I didn’t have any conversations with Fox, until I got a call to congratulate me on my new deal. So that was a decision they made and it’s fine.”

Since Aikman’s departure, there has been speculation that former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton could be a top candidate for the available analyst seat on the network’s top Sunday game, or serve as a part of the studio for Fox’s NFL pre-game show.

Payton’s former franchise, and NBC analyst, QB Drew Brees is also a name that has been bandied about in rumors for an on-air job with Fox after retiring from the NFL before last season.