Coinciding with Deitsch's report, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand followed up with news that ESPN made a decision to stay in-house for McDonough's replacement. Manning could call the network's "Thursday Night Football" games and still have his weekends free. The veteran broadcaster signed a multiyear deal to stay with ESPN, where he'll remain a part of its college basketball and Masters coverage in addition to resuming a previous role on college football broadcasts. He will no longer call Monday Night Football. Love him on college hoops and college football.
Richard Deitsch of SI reports Friday evening on Twitter that McDonough will leave MNF to return to calling college football games for the network.
The more obvious truth is that, with Jon Gruden leaving, ESPN will be crafting a brand-new booth, with Joe Tessitore taking over the job (he likely doesn't view the move from college football to Monday Night Football as anything other than a significant step up).
McDonough said in a statement, "Being the "Voice of Monday Night Football" was one of the great honors of my life", but he said he missed college football.
Tessitore has been with ESPN since 2002, calling boxing and then college football. "I look forward to reuniting with ESPN's college football team where I have so many close friends in front of and behind the camera".
ESPN reportedly is putting the full-court press on Peyton Manning to be the color analyst with a compensation package that could reach $10 million annually.