Troy Aikman is excited to see how Tom Brady will fare as a broadcaster, even if FOX found money to hire the seven-time Super Bowl Champion that seemingly didn't exist when it came time to potentially retain two of their longest-tenure employees earlier this offseason.
Aikman spoke publicly Monday for the first time since his former employer announced that Brady would become the No. 1 game analyst after his playing career concludes. Brady will essentially replace Aikman, who left FOX for ESPN in March.
"As far as Tom, it’s not something I thought he’d be doing, but I think he’ll be great," Aikman told Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post. "I have a great relationship with Tom, and love when we call his games. I’ve had a chance to get to know him more since he went to Tampa in the NFC. I think he’ll be fantastic and it was an outstanding hire."
The elephant in the room here is that FOX gave Brady a 10-year/$375 million deal just months after they let Aikman and Joe Buck depart for one of their top competitors for $33.5 million per year.
Of course, no one in NFL history has a legacy as a player liked Brady. But as a broadcaster, we have no idea of he'll be good or not. Frankly, he has no idea if he'll even like being a game analyst. Aikman and Buck, both in their mid-50s, are a known commodity in the booth, and have really good chemistry together. That's why ESPN paid a boatload to the duo as they attempt to return Monday Night Football to its former glory. And it makes you wonder why FOX didn't pony up to keep Aikman and Buck when we now know they were more than willing to spend that kind of money.
While it's hard to make a case that any broadcaster on the planet is better than Al Michaels, you understand why NBC let one of the all-time greats leave this offseason. Michaels is 77 and probably has less than five years left in his illustrious career. Mike Tirico has been waiting in the wings for a while, and the 55-year-old could realistically call Sunday Night Football games for the next two decades.
Such an argument doesn't exist for FOX. Buck and Aikman were together for 20 years at FOX, and probably could have done another 20 more for the network. Kevin Burkhardt is a rising star, and Brady may very well have success as a broadcaster after he retires for good from playing. But from here, FOX's decision to let Buck and Aikman -- who we already know are really good together -- depart makes little sense.