Report: Joe Thomas ‘could be a wild-card choice’ for Monday Night Football
Joe Thomas on Wednesday officially announced his retirement from the NFL following a Hall of Fame career spent entirely with the Cleveland Browns. The question now for the iron man offensive lineman is, “What’s next?”
Thomas, well-known for his gift of gab and outgoing personality, would seem to be a perfect fit for a job in the media. And now reports have surfaced that Thomas “could be a wild-card choice” to replace Jon Gruden in ESPN’s booth for “Monday Night Football.”
A report last week revealed Thomas “recently auditioned for a variety of roles at Fox and Fox Sports 1,” and a FOX source stated he “was particularly impressive.”
Thomas upon his retirement hinted he could end up in the broadcast booth as soon as next season.
“I’ve got several options that are on the table,” Thomas said on ‘The ThomaHawk Show’ by Uninterrupted, via the Sporting News. “I’ve auditioned for a few colors jobs on TV. I’m going to audition for one coming up. I’ve had a number of broadcast people reach out to me to gauge my interest.”
Much change is coming to “Monday Night Football” next season, beyond Gruden. Could Thomas find himself making such a substantial foray into broadcasting this quickly? A report from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand suggests as much.
ESPN has yet to make it official, but Joe Tessitore is replacing Sean McDonough as the play-by-player. Thomas could be a wild-card choice for MNF; especially if ESPN went with a three-man booth with someone like Louis Riddick rounding it out.
Kurt Warner is believed to be the front-runner to replace Gruden after Peyton Manning turned down ESPN for the job.
That said, it certainly would be a rapid ascension for Thomas to land such a plum role right out of the gate. But Tony Romo’s widely praised rookie year in the booth with CBS suggests there’s no reason to doubt Thomas could do the very same thing.
And if not that “Monday Night Football,” Thomas by all appearances could land in on a pregame show as a nice fallback option.