Report: Maria Taylor turned down $5 million a year from ESPN
Maria Taylor has become one of the most well-known faces on ESPN, and the network knows it. However, it sounds like the two sides do not see eye-to-eye in ongoing contract negotiations.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Taylor turned down nearly $5 million a year from ESPN during contract negotiations last year. Taylor was instead seeking “Stephen A. Smith money,” which is roughly in the neighborhood of $8 million per year. Taylor currently makes about $1 million annually in her role as “NBA Countdown” host and lead college football sideline reporter.
ESPN has further reduced the salary offerings since making its initial offer to Taylor. The current offer is said to be between $2 million and $3 million. Taylor has not accepted, and though ESPN wants to keep her, there is a chance the two sides may be forced to part ways. Notably, Taylor’s current contract expires around July 20, which means it is possible that could happen before the conclusion of the NBA Finals she is slated to host.
Taylor ascended to her NBA Countdown post as a replacement for another high-profile name at ESPN. The network likely did not envision these negotiations becoming rocky, but it seems that’s what they are.