Tom Brady could make his debut as an NFL TV analyst sooner than expected — during the Super Bowl.
If Brady’s 3-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t make the Big Game, Fox wants the legendary quarterback for its coverage of Super Bowl 57, said sources.
“If he’s not playing in the game, I would expect Brady to be part of Fox’s Super Bowl coverage,” said a source. “Definitely. I would be very surprised if he isn’t.”
Fox is already drawing up contingency plans on how to feature the 45-year-old Brady in its Super Bowl coverage from Glendale, Arizona, on Feb. 12, 2023, said sources.
The most ambitious strategy calls for the seven-time Super Bowl champ to be the third man in on a three-person broadcast booth with Fox’s No. 1 NFL team of Greg Olsen and Kevin Burkhardt.
But it’s more likely Brady would serve as an analyst on the Big Game version of “Fox NFL Sunday,” along with Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, Curt Menefee, and Jay Glazer.
Fox has previously announced that Olsen and Burkhardt will call Super Bowl 57. When Brady does join Fox he will team up with Burkhardt, while Olsen drops back to No. 2 game analyst on the network’s depth chart.
But could Brady change his mind — again — and retire before the end of the 2022 NFL season? Maybe.
Wife Gisele Bundchen has reportedly given him an ultimatum to retire or she’s “gone for good.”
But Brady himself shot down retirement rumors on his SiriusXM show with Larry Fitzgerald and Jim Gray.
“I said last week that there’s no immediate retirement in my future. There was a retirement in the past, but I moved on from that,” Brady said. “I made a commitment to this team, and I love this team, and I love this organization. I told them in March I was playing, and I’ve never quit on anything in my life.”
Whatever Brady does or doesn’t do with the Super Bowl and Fox, it will be his call.
When Fox announced his signing, chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch made it clear it was entirely up to Brady when he finally retires from the NFL and begins his next job as lead NFL game analyst.
“We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” Murdoch tweeted.
As long as Brady’s not playing in the game, he’s likely to be part of Fox’s Super Bowl coverage, said sources.
The network likes to audition active players before they retire. Both Olsen and Strahan got reps on Fox air before hanging up their cleats.
But Brady’s not just any player. His blockbuster 10-year, $375 million pact is the biggest in sports broadcast history.
Fox does not view Brady as just a TV talent. The corporation envisions him as a business partner, and rainmaker, who can make the difference with corporate sponsors.
“Over the course of this long-term agreement, Tom will not only call our biggest NFL games with Kevin Burkhardt, but will also serve as an ambassador for us, particularly with respect to client and promotional initiatives,” Fox tweeted in May.
Super Bowl advertisers shelling out up to $7 million per 30-second spot would certainly love to see Brady make his Fox debut in February. As of early September, Ad Age reported Fox had already sold 95% of its commercial inventory.
Fox will air two of the next three Super Bowls. So Brady could move from playing in, to broadcasting, sports TV’s biggest event.
Fox could not be reached for comment.