Football's Next Breakout Star: 39-year-old Tony Romo
Love them or hate them, sports announcers are a part of the at-home viewing experience. For the fans of the NFL, we have grown accustomed to the regulars: Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels, Jim Nantz and now Tony Romo. The former Cowboys quarterback replaced Phil Simms in 2017 to work alongside Nantz as the lead commentators for CBS; however, the future of this new pairing is still up in the air as Romo is entering the final year of his contract.
Tony Romo originally signed a three-year deal giving Romo $4 million per year taking him through the conclusion of the 2019-2020 NFL season. He is now entering a new type of free agency, the start of a bidding war that sports commentary has yet to see. Romo is asking for $10 million per year, making him the highest-paid commentator for the NFL. Seeing how beloved Romo is for his poise and ability to predict the upcoming plays, I personally believe he may be worth that much, especially considering the salaries of some of his fellow, far more annoying, commentators.
CBS is yet to offer Romo his desired $10 million a year contract. Their hesitancy is justified. Troy Aikman is the current highest-paid commentator, earning $7.5 million. If CBS is not willing to dish out Romo’s asking price, we could see Romo working for a different network next year. This could open the doors to a potential free agency frenzy surpassing any he experienced during his playing career. During his entire 14-year playing career, Romo earned $127.4 million, or $9.1 million per year. It’s possible that we could see Romo earn more in the first 14 years of retirement than during his 14 years of professional football.
If Romo isn’t suiting up for CBS next year, he will undoubtedly be on air somewhere, probably for a record-setting broadcasting deal. Wherever he is, he will become a household staple of the football experience for the next generation, like the commentators that came before him were for me.