For months, Romo’s future had been the subject of speculation with his contract up this winter and ESPN, potentially looking to upgrade its “Monday Night Football” booth, lurking. Instead, Romo will return to CBS this fall to call games alongside partner Jim Nantz, avoiding the open market, reports the Washington Post.
Romo's contract is believe to be the largest sports analyst contract in TV history, The NY Post reports. It will pay him around $17 million per season, which is more than double the previous NFL high of $8 million per year that John Madden received more than two decades ago.
Even when adjusted for inflation — which would make Madden’s number $14 million — Romo still is the highest paid ever.
The long-term deal, sources say, is for significantly more than five years, which means the total value for Romo’s contract will well surpass $100 million.
During his playing career, Romo earned a total of $127 million over 14 seasons. There were only three seasons as the Cowboys’ quarterback that he made more than $17 million.
CBS was motivated this week by Disney’s ability to start bidding on Romo in March, when he could have been eligible for free agency. CBS thought Disney — which hoped to use Romo as a carrot as it goes after a Super Bowl in the next round of negotiations — would bid $20 million per year. ESPN officials vigorously disputed that, saying they would never have bid close to that number.
Though Romo’s salary is astronomical for 20 NFL games, CBS officials felt he showed loyalty because he could have explored how high ESPN would go. CBS and Romo’s partner, Jim Nantz, have been universally praised since network executives Sean McManus and David Berson took the chance on putting Romo in the booth right off the field three years ago.
CBS’s calculation is that they spend billions on the NFL, so bidding this high on Romo made sense in the grand scheme. They hope to retain their Sunday afternoon package and Super Bowl in the next round of negotiations with the NFL.