ESPN announces it will not replace Jason Witten on ‘Monday Night Football’
Jason Witten decided earlier this offseason to leave the “Monday Night Football” broadcast booth and return to playing for the Dallas Cowboys, but ESPN is not planning to replace him with another on-air personality — at least in the short-term.
On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Booger McFarland will join Joe Tessitore inside the broadcast booth next season. McFarland spent the 2018 season as a third analyst for the network and worked from a booth on the sidelines.
ESPN just announced Joe Tessitore (play by play), Booger McFarland (analyst) and Lisa Salters (reporter) are ESPN’s NFL commentator team for Monday Night Football.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 1, 2019
ESPN pursued Peyton Manning to replace Witten, and they probably would have let the former quarterback name his price. However, Manning is not interested in pursuing a career in broadcasting at this time. If and when he does, ESPN will have to compete with every major network to sign him.
The “Monday Night Football” crew was heavily criticized last year, but most of that had to do with Witten’s embarrassing gaffes. It’s no surprise ESPN is going to ride things out with what they have for the time being, though will change in 2020 if it doesn’t work out.