The NFL broadcaster carousel is starting to slow now that Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are officially at ESPN to lead the Monday Night Football booth, which took one of the options off the table for Al Michaels as he departs NBC.
Michaels has long been connected to Amazon as their top choice for Thursday Night Football, but the veteran broadcaster had yet to agree to a deal so long as other jobs were open so as to keep all options available. With Buck on Monday nights and Fox seemingly searching elsewhere for his replacement, Michaels has finally entered an agreement with Amazon, per Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, and will join Kirk Herbstreit in the new Thursday Night Football booth this fall.
Per Marchand, Michaels’ deal will be “in the Joe Buck neighborhood” annually, but for three years — Buck received a 5 years, $75 million deal from ESPN to bolt from Fox alongside his longtime broadcast partner. Clearly Herbstreit fit Michaels’ request for a veteran analyst partner, as the longtime play-by-play man apparently wasn’t interested in starting completely from scratch with someone new to the booth.
With Michaels now a done deal to Amazon, the last domino to fall is Fox’s choice for a new top booth, which should set up the next 3-to-5 years of NFL broadcasts. Fox’s second team of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen are the apparent frontrunners to be elevated to their lead crew for the 2022 season.