The New Orleans Saints have consistently been a top contender in the NFC over the past decade, but their chances of winning this season took an unexpected hit when star running back Alvin Kamara sustained a torn ACL. This has created an opportunity for backup Mark Ingram to capitalize on his increased role and take home some cash as well.
Cris Collinsworth, the former NFL quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst, has made a power play that could potentially cost Drew Brees $12.5 million in salary.
Highlights of the article:
- Cris Collinsworth is said to be nearing the end of a lucrative contract with NBC Sports.
- Since 2006, the former Pro Bowl receiver has been a staple of the network’s football coverage.
- Collinsworth’s contract deal might help NBC colleague Drew Brees.
The initial plan when NBC hired then-New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2020 was for him to join Sunday Night Football in 2022 and ultimately replace former Pro Bowl receiver Cris Collinsworth as the color commentator.
When Brees retired earlier this year and joined NBC full-time, things took a somewhat different course. Although the famous quarterback just worked his first NFL game as a color commentator, don’t expect him to take over for Collinsworth just soon.
Cris Collinsworth is allegedly in talks with NBC Sports about a significant contract extension.
Cris Collinsworth seems like he’ll be sticking with NBC Sports for the time being | Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Collinsworth has not slipped into the booth and traded lines with Al Michaels for three hours every Sunday night during the football season for over 15 years. When Michaels’ contract ends in February 2022, things might alter if Mike Tirico, the current host of Football Night in America, takes over as SNF’s principal play-by-play voice.
Collinsworth obviously intends to be a key part of the network’s football plans heading forward, even if the 77-year-old Michaels will re-sign with NBC and have a reduced workload next year. The veteran broadcaster is reportedly discussing a hefty long-term agreement with his old employer, according to the New York Post.
How much money are we talking about? Collinsworth and NBC are allegedly talking about a deal worth $12.5 million each season. Ezekiel Elliott, the great running back for the Dallas Cowboys, is set to earn $12.4 million in base pay in 2022.
Consider that CBS Sports’ Tony Romo gets $17 million per year and Collinsworth’s projected potential pay seems exorbitant.
Drew Brees will benefit from Collinsworth’s prospective contract.
If NBC hired Brees in the hopes of forming a long-term partnership with him and Tirico, they got that reality for Notre Dame football games and FNIA conversations this season. Collinsworth’s deal would almost probably keep Brees in the studio on Sunday evenings and away from Tirico, unless NBC unexpectedly establishes a three-man booth.
That isn’t a terrible thing in the case of Brees. And, in terms of Notre Dame football games, that platform is a significantly better place for a novice commentator to grow and refine their skills. If you’re still unconvinced, consider what occurred when ESPN forced Jason Witten to handle Monday Night Football games after he retired after the 2017 season.
Brees received high praise for his performance with Tirico during the Buffalo Bills’ game against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 25. However, one great game in the booth – remember, he knows the Saints organization well — will hardly convert him into the next Tony Romo or Greg Olsen.
Brees will be 43 in January and shouldn’t be rushing to take over on Sunday Night Football. The more time he spends in an NFL broadcast setting, the more prepared he will be when the chance to join Tirico in the booth on Sunday evenings occurs.
Remember, the greatest part is yet to come, at least for Brees. According to Sporting News, the Super Bowl 44 champion’s current deal pays him nearly $6 million each year.
Collinsworth and Tirico have already shown to be a capable broadcast team.
When Tirico takes over for Michaels on Sunday evenings, things will be quite different. Since the start of the 2020 season, NBC has given us a sneak peek at what’s to come by pairing him with Collinsworth many times.
Overall, despite the limited sample size, there are many positives to be found. Both are seasoned announcers who stay on top of their game by avoiding clichés and focusing too much on how fantastic the game was 40 years ago. Collinsworth still succeeds at breaking down plays for the crowd, and Tirico understands when to set him up.
Consider a play from the Baltimore Ravens’ win against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 28. Tirico didn’t need Collinsworth’s help after Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield connected with receiver Jarvis Landry for a 46-yard gain. Collinsworth swiftly detailed how a 5-yard run on the previous play set the Browns up to catch the Ravens off surprise and chuck it deep.
Collinsworth will not only be able to continue slipping into the booth next year, but he may also be able to do it with substantially more money in his pocket. We should all be as fortunate as they are.
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The “drew brees height” is a story about how Drew Brees’s new contract with the Saints has put him in an unexpectedly comfortable position. The contract was announced on April 18th, 2018 and will pay Brees $12.5 million for each year of the deal.
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