Are ESPN, FOX discussing a Joe Buck trade?
If ESPN wants to pair Joe Buck with Troy Aikman on “Monday Night Football,” they may have to make a trade for him.
In a recent edition of the “Sports Illustrated Media Podcast,” sports media expert Jim Miller hinted that ESPN and FOX may already be discussing a trade involving Buck.
“The deals are not synced up. If you’re ESPN and you’re Jimmy Pitaro, you want both of those guys in the booth,” Miller said, via Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing. “So you get closer to Troy and get a sense that Troy may come over. And then what happens? Well, if you’re (FOX Sports CEO) Eric Shanks, you get to sit there and go ‘Okay, yeah, so you won him. Now, let’s start figuring it out.’ In the ESPN book, I wrote about Al Michaels, and there was a Disney character of course, famous Oswald, that was part of the deal to let Al out early. But now, I think what’s been going on behind the scenes, and I’ve heard this from various people, is that there’s some real horse trading.
“I mean, look, does Fox want to keep Joe if Joe’s going to be unhappy? No. But do they want to be able to monetize this in myriad ways in order to really get some flesh out of ESPN? Absolutely. And what might that mean? You know, if I’m Fox, I might ask for two or three Big Ten games.”
Aikman signed a massive deal to move to ESPN, and has hinted that he’d like Buck to follow him. Buck is still under contract with FOX, so this may be the only way to make a move work. Whether ESPN is willing to go that far, especially when there are other options that would require less wrangling, remains to be seen.
Photo: Jan 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; FOX analyst Joe Buck before the NFC Divisional Playoff football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports