Lights, camera, play action.
NFL quarterbacks are cashing in more than ever both on the field and off of it. While passers are making record deals for their on-field production, production trucks may value them just a bit more. Recent TV deals for color analysts prove as much.
Troy Aikman and Tony Romo both struck gold with big-time contracts for their respective networks, making a reported $18 million per year for their football insights on Sundays.
Tom Brady is next in line, reportedly signing a massive $375 million contract with Fox, to be paid out over 10 years whenever his on-field career is done.
Brady, though, isn't going to be the last passer of the current crop of NFL quarterbacks to end up in the broadcast booth. So, of the 32 current passers, here's how we think they would fare in front of a mic:
While there's some question about exactly how many eyeballs a color analyst brings to a broadcast, these guys would fit for good analysis, good quotes or good entertainment.
Baker Mayfield, Browns (for now)
Passionate, fiery and charismatic. That, coupled with his loose-cannon personality would make for fun broadcasts. Remember when he grabbed his crotch and exchanged "pleasantries" with the Kansas football team? Good times.
Jameis Winston, Saints
Fan-favorite passer. Former No. 1 overall pick. Guaranteed to be the first broadcaster to eat a W on live TV.
Jameis Winston with an ... interesting pump up speech. 🤣 pic.twitter.com/z0tESHAA6k— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 5, 2017
Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
If you want your significant other to get more into football, then have them take a nice, long look at the jawline of the impossibly handsome Jimmy GQ. It also doesn't hurt that Garoppolo is a laid-back dude with Super Bowl experience.
Russell Wilson, Broncos
Wilson seems like he was grown out of a test tube for a second career in TV. He's already one of the NFL's most personable players, something that would translate well to a broadcast booth. "Mr. Unliiiiimiiited," indeed.
Joe Burrow, Bengals
Burrow exudes cool, and would instantly have the best nickname of any broadcast in football history. Well, any one of the 15 that he has.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys
All 15 people who watched "Hard Knocks" last year know that Prescott has a lot of personality, at least more than what you see in press conferences. Plus, the whole Dallas connection would draw some eyeballs.
Lamar Jackson, Ravens
Rookie of the Year, MVP and future highest-paid QB in the league? Not bad for a
running back color commentator.
Matthew Stafford, Rams
I mean, how many times does Matthew Stafford have to prove people wrong? Being out in LA has already brought out the best in Stafford. He'd be a great addition to the booth, too.
Good, but likely B-team material
These guys would probably play it straight, but also feel like mayonnaise is too spicy for them.
Derek Carr, Raiders
Carr is a super passionate guy and has more than enough football acumen to help see the game differently than most. Does he have the personality to keep viewers engaged, though?
"Derek, what did you see on that play?"
On to the next one... pic.twitter.com/hEAhPArCww— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) November 23, 2020
Josh Allen, Bills
If nothing else, it would be entertaining to see the height difference between Allen and whoever his play-by-play partner would be. Get the milk crate ready.
Jared Goff, Lions
Ryan Gosling's long-lost twin would probably make networks drool. For however much Goff gets ripped by critics, though, he was a No. 1 overall pick for a reason. Guy knows ball.
Matt Ryan, Colts
Sticking Matt Ryan in a tier below some of the elite QBs seems a bit too on the nose, but he's still got more than enough personality and football IQ to carry a broadcast.
Marcus Mariota, Falcons
Ryan's Falcons replacement would bring a unique perspective to booth, given his unique path in the NFL. From No. 2 overall pick to franchise starter to gadget backup, he'd offer a look that other QBs in this spot couldn't.
Drew Lock, Seahawks
Lock is an entertaining guy, if nothing else. He knows Young Jeezy, so that should help pull the younger demographic in.
Drew Lock will always be invited to the Cookout pic.twitter.com/cSL5K7DpGE— IB THE GAMBLER 🔌 (@incarceratedbob) August 25, 2021
Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins
Tua is a charming dude with a made-for-TV face … but imagine having to deal with Dolphins fans every week, saying he's the best color commentator in the business.
These guys will either make you tune in or tune out on the couch:
Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Rodgers probably would bring a Mr. Rogers-like influence on the broadcast booth, in that you would immediately want to take a nap after hearing him break down a Cover 3 Cloud defense. It's all fun and games until Rodgers brings up panchakarma cleanses in the third quarter.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers
There's something awfully mechanical about Brady, even his post-Patriots "trying to be more human" years. We'll see how Fox's high-paid experiment goes come the end of his career. Y'know, whenever that is.
Jalen Hurts, Eagles
Hurts has all the intangibles that make up a locker-room leader, but how that would translate to the broadcast booth is something of a mystery. But, hey, if we can get good quotes like this one, then he might be great in the booth:
“When you take your deuce, you don’t sit there and look at it.— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) September 28, 2021
You flush it. And move on”
-Jalen Hurts pic.twitter.com/TC33Y0AXuG
Kyler Murray, Cardinals
A quarterback built for the modern NFL would have a lot of modern NFL takes. Murray's demeanor, though, might not jell well for a national broadcasts. He's pretty good in commercials, though.
Zach Wilson, Jets
Perfectly in line with his draft stock, Wilson is a boom-or-bust TV guy. No denying he has the teeth and face for television, but it feels more like he'd be on MTV's "Real World" than an NFL broadcast.
Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
Mahomes' talent is undeniable. He's already one of the best passers the league has ever seen. There's no denying that he would break down a game in depth. But imagine having to listen to Mahomes' "froggy" voice for three hours. 'Nuff said.
Justin Herbert, Chargers
Herbert is one of the NFL's top passers and he's entering Year 3, but his reserved personality might be better suited for audiobooks and podcasts discussing maritime law.
Likely calling Jaguars vs. Lions at 1 p.m.
There's no denying that the least talented broadcast teams get the least desirable games. Here are the dudes who will likely end up on the third-string broadcast teams:
Sam Darnold, Panthers
If Darnold doesn't beat out Matt Corral for Panthers QB1 job this offseason, then he might have to start honing his broadcast skills for his post-NFL career.
Mac Jones, Patriots
Jones has more personality than some think — as evidenced by his Griddy in the 2022 Pro Bowl — but the "Aw, shucks" stuff only goes so far. Though, it might be fun to hear some tell-all stories about Bill Belichick and Nick Saban.
Davis Mills, Texans
Mills surprised a lot of people with his rookie season. A Stanford grad would probably be well-spoken on a broadcast. Unfortunately, people would be more interested in the length of his neck than his analysis.
Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers
Mitchell Trubisky would be the second-ever Nickelodeon's Valuable Player to make a jump to the booth, behind Tom Brady. (Man, that guy really does do everything.)
Kirk Cousins, Vikings
A network would endlessly plug Cousins' famed "You like that?" every week. The Kirk Cousins "I Like That" Play of the Game. The Kirk Cousins "They Like That" Keys to the game. Spare us. Please. I feel guilty for putting this out into the ether.
The game is better on mute
If you get to the TV on a Sunday afternoon, crack open a beer and see one of these dudes on the call, it might be time to fire up Netflix and spend your afternoon binge-watching "Ozark" instead.
Daniel Jones, Giants
The Giants passer is entering a make-or-break year for the Giants. If it doesn't work out, he may be able to play Eli Manning on the "ManningCast" documentary (coming in 2040 to ESPN Super Secret Plus, the paid streaming app inside the paid streaming app).
Ryan Tannehill, Titans
Tannehill might not be the worst on the list — none of these guys probably are — but Tannehill is as milquetoast as it gets. That's no fault of his own.
Carson Wentz, Commanders
There's a good chance that Wentz would be traded from Fox to CBS after a season of middling returns.
Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars
Remember when Trevor Lawrence admitted that football wasn't his life? Imagine him in the broadcast booth. We want gamers, damn it!