A topsy-turvy offseason for NFL broadcasting took perhaps its most surprising twist Tuesday morning when Fox Corp. Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch announced that Tom Brady will step into the network’s booth when the winningest quarterback of all time retires.

When that happens, of course, is still to be determined. Brady, 44, could play one or several more seasons. But when he hangs up his spikes for good, he will join Kevin Burkhardt in Fox’s lead booth, Murdoch said. If he retires after two more seasons, he would be in line to call a Super Bowl in his first year as an announcer. Fox is set to broadcast two of the next three Super Bowls.

“We are delighted that Tom has committed to joining the Fox team and wish him all the best during this upcoming season,” Murdoch said in a statement Tuesday after announcing the news on a network earnings call.

Murdoch’s announcement is the latest move in a lucrative game of musical chairs for the NFL’s top announcers.

Troy Aikman and Joe Buck jumped from Fox to ESPN to call Monday Night Football booth earlier this year, for contracts that will pay them around $18 million and $15 million a year. Al Michaels hopped from NBC to Amazon for its inaugural Thursday Night Football season. He will be joined by ESPN’s top college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, who will moonlight with Amazon while keeping his day job. Both are likely set for seven-figure deals. Mike Tirico will take over for Michaels at NBC; and Tony Romo, who reset the salary scale with his $17 million deal two years ago, remains at CBS with Jim Nantz.

A Fox spokesman declined to comment on Brady’s contract.

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Brady turns 45 in August and will begin his 23rd season later this year. The seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback has had a news-making offseason. He announced his retirement after last season ended, but changed his mind about six weeks later and will return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Tuesday, he said on Twitter that he was “excited” about his future television role but had “a lot of unfinished business on the field” with the Buccaneers.

He will be the latest star quarterback to join the ranks of broadcasters, joining Aikman and Romo, as well as both Manning brothers, Peyton and Eli, who began hosting a simulcast for Monday Night Football last season. Drew Brees also retired from the NFL and jumped straight to the booth with NBC last year, though initial reviews have been mixed. Brady appeared on an episode of the Manning brothers’ show last season and flashed his analyst chops in a memorable segment.

The NFL signed lucrative new TV deals last year with the four broadcast networks, as well as Amazon. Those deals, which preceded the announcer frenzy, will pay the league more than $100 million over the next decade, signifying the importance of league to all its broadcast partners.

Fox is scheduled to broadcast the Super Bowl this season and still needs to name a top analyst. But that job is now a temporary opening.

AWARD: Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro defensive tackle Cameron Heyward has been selected as the 2022 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.

Heyward, the 18th Good Guy Award winner, is the second member of the Steelers’ franchise to get the award, joining Jerome Bettis, who won the inaugural honor in 2005. The award is given to an NFL player for his qualities and professional style in helping pro football writers do their jobs.

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Other nominees for the Good Guy Award were Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin, Denver safety Justin Simmons and Cincinnati tight end C.J. Uzomah, now with the Jets.

DOLPHINS: The Miami Dolphins signed running back Sony Michel to a one-year contract, bringing a South Florida native back to his home area.

Michel has been part of two Super Bowl-winning teams in his four NFL seasons, after helping New England win a title in the 2018 season and the Los Angeles Rams win the crown last season.

Michel’s deal will pay him $2.1 million this season.

PANTHERS: The Carolina Panthers have agreed to a four-year contract with first-round draft pick Ikem Ekwonu.

Ekwonu, the sixth overall pick, agreed to a four-year rookie contract with a team option for a fifth season. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the offensive tackle from North Carolina State is slotted to receive around $27.6 million overall with a signing bonus in the range of $17.2 million, according to Spotrac.

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The deal comes just days before the start of the team’s rookie minicamp this weekend.

RAVENS: The Baltimore Ravens signed running back Mike Davis to a one-year deal.

Davis rushed for 503 yards and three touchdowns last season for the Atlanta Falcons.

Prior to last season, Davis played two seasons with Carolina, two with Seattle and two with San Francisco. He rushed for a career-high 642 yards in 2020 with the Panthers.

JAGUARS: Former NFL place-kicker Josh Lambo has filed a lawsuit against the Jacksonville Jaguars seeking more than $3.5 million in salary and damages for emotional distress caused by former head coach Urban Meyer.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported details of the lawsuit, which was filed in the 4th Judicial Circuit Court in Duval County and claims Meyer and the Jaguars created a hostile work environment. According to the lawsuit, Lambo says his performance suffered as a result of being kicked and verbally abused by Meyer.

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Lambo is seeking a jury trial and hopes to be awarded a judgment for back pay owed from his 2021 salary ($3.5 million) with interest as well as “compensation for any special damages sustained as emotional stress and reputational harm and litigation fees,” among other costs.

The Jaguars fired Meyer on Dec. 15, hours after the Times reported Meyer had kicked Lambo during a practice months earlier. Meyer was fired with cause, although the team insists Lambo’s accusation had nothing to do with owner Shad Khan’s decision to end one of the most tumultuous coaching tenures in NFL history.

Since Lambo reported the kicking incident to the Jaguars’ legal counsel, his subsequent release violated Florida’s Private Sector Whistle Blower’s Act, the lawsuit says.

Lambo was released by the Jaguars on Oct. 19, two days after Matt Wright made two 50-plus-yard field goals to beat Miami in London and end the franchise’s 20-game losing streak.


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