Tony Romo could become the first football analyst to earn $10 million per year. Sources told the Sporting News that Romo’s team is seeking a contract of “eight figures” to stay as the No. 1 football analyst at CBS. He is under contract to the network through the 2019 season at $4 million annually.
Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, retired after the 2016 season and joined Jim Nantz in the booth at CBS in 2017, replacing Phil Simms.
The New York Post reported in January that CBS likely would give Romo a “substantial” raise, and that John Madden, who bounced around the networks, earned $8 million.
Troy Aikman is under contract to Fox for $7.5 million, and Jon Gruden made $6.5 million at ESPN for his appearance on “Monday Night Football” and other platforms before leaving to coach the Raiders, the Sporting News reported.
—The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed quarterback Blaine Gabbert to a one-year contract, the team announced Wednesday. He is expected to compete with Ryan Griffin to back up Jameis Winston. Financial terms were not announced.
A Missouri product, Gabbert, 29, was the No. 10 overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 and spent three seasons there. He also has played for the San Francisco 49ers (2014-16), the Arizona Cardinals (2017) and the Tennessee Titans (2018).
—Free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving resulting in injury.
The former Denver Broncos and Houston Texans player was behind the wheel near downtown Denver on Feb. 16 when he was speeding and lost control of his vehicle, causing it to roll over, police said. He and a male passenger sustained minor injuries. The second passenger, a woman, suffered more serious injuries that weren’t considered to be life-threatening.
Under terms of the agreement, Thomas must pay a $300 fine plus court costs, perform 50 hours of community service and serve one year of probation. A felony vehicular assault charge was dismissed.
—Wide receiver Jordy Nelson is retiring from the NFL, his former team, the Green Bay Packers, confirmed.
Nelson signed a two-year, $14.2 million deal last spring with Oakland. The Raiders already had paid him a $3.6 million roster bonus for 2019 when they released him on March 14.
The retirement comes as a mild surprise, considering reported interest in Nelson from the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots. Nelson, who turns 34 in May, has been released in consecutive offseasons after the Packers let him go last spring.
—They’ve yet to play a down for him, but the Arizona Cardinals probably are ready to vote Kliff Kingsbury the coach of the year. Speaking at the league meetings in Phoenix, Kingsbury said he will give players a timeout to check their phones during team meetings.
Kingsbury, 39, said he did the same thing when coaching at Texas Tech and anticipates giving his players a phone break every 20 to 30 minutes.
“They’re itching to get to those things,” he said, adding he saw his college players grow impatient and lose attention in the meetings.
—Should HBO come knocking at the door, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis hopes not to have to answer it. The Raiders are one of five teams that meet the parameters for appearing on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” the popular training camp reality series. And Davis said he doesn’t want his team to take part.
“It would be disruptive,” he said Tuesday, speaking at the NFL’s annual meetings in Phoenix. “We’ve got a lot of business to take care of, get ready for the season. I appreciate that they might think we’d be great TV, but we got something to accomplish.”
The Raiders do have the ingredients for stirring television. Since the start of the new league year, Oakland has acquired star wideout Antonio Brown and added free agent Vontaze Burfict, and there are rumblings running back Marshawn Lynch could return.
—Jerod Mayo, who spent his entire NFL career as a linebacker with the New England Patriots, is returning to the team as an assistant coach.
Mayo, who made 808 tackles in eight seasons (2008-2015), announced the news on Instagram.
Mayo reportedly will coach linebackers for new defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. Mayo’s playing career ended at 29 after a series of injuries. He started 93 of his 103 career games in New England, twice earning Pro Bowl honors and being selected first-team All-Pro in 2010, when he led the league with 175 tackles.
—Field Level Media