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#pounditMonday, October 3, 2022

Report: FOX pursued Tom Brady in response to Troy Aikman comments

Troy Aikman in a suit

Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL Half of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady’s new relationship with FOX as the network’s future lead NFL analyst had been a long time in the making, according to a new report. Beyond that, it came about through what Troy Aikman himself did during the NFL postseason.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal broke down the circumstances of the Brady deal on the “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast,” and suggested it went all the way back to the playoffs and some comments Aikman made at the time.

“When Troy Aikman wanted to get out of his contract, and started talking with Amazon, and started talking with ESPN, and made it public — he would answer any question that was sent his way — it irritated the folks at Fox,” Ourand said, via Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post. “As soon as he started to make those entreaties, it wasn’t just that Tom Brady was on a list. They started talking to him. Tom Brady was deciding between going back and playing football, or going to Fox. And he ended up going to play football. We both thought at that time that his negotiations with Fox had been tabled to next offseason, or whenever he retires. At no point did we think those negotiations were continuing to go along to where they would announce it on Tuesday.”

In January, Aikman publicly admitted that he was interested in working for Amazon in addition to his FOX duties. This evidently did not go over well with FOX’s hierarchy, and Aikman’s move to ESPN was announced a month later.

Money was clearly not a factor for FOX based on what they are reportedly paying Brady. Aikman seemingly wanted a big payday, so FOX decided to put their money elsewhere.

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