ESPN has given Ron Jaworski a new five-year contract and that’s the good news for the former quarterback and veteran analyst.
The bad news for Jaworski is the network has removed him from the “Monday Night Football” booth in a move that creates a two-man team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden.
“I am grateful for having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of working on 'Monday Night Football' the past five seasons with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and so many other talented people behind the scenes who make the show so great, and I look forward to bringing my passion and knowledge of the game to more fans in more places than ever before on any and all football topics,” Jaworski said in a statement released by ESPN.
Jaworski will appear on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” “Monday Night Countdown,” “NFL Matchup” and other shows ESPN runs in a heavy dose of professional football coverage.
The move will allow Gruden to spread his wings further as he stars in the television booth and moves further away from the sideline. Jaworski has been with the network since 1990 and while ESPN wants to utilize his skills elsewhere, it’s clear the primary move here was to remove him from the Monday night telecasts and create a greater role for Gruden.
“I thank Ron for the great contributions he has made to Monday Night Football and look forward to the many ways he will enhance our studio presentation from our NFL-branded shows to SportsCenter,” ESPN president John Skipper said in the release. “With two strong analysts in Ron and Jon, these moves will better utilize their strengths and benefit our entire NFL presentation.”
The Tirico-Gruden pairing marks just the sixth time in MNF’s 42-year history that a two-man booth will be used.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune