Greg Olsen landing spots: Where Fox announcer could land as Tom Brady prepares to take over on No. 1 broadcast crew

Greg Olsen’s call of the 2024 NFC championship game was a memorable one. He and play-by-play analyst Kevin Burkhardt were in great form as they helped capture the 49ers’ historic comeback win during which the Lions squandered a 24-7 halftime lead to lose 34-31.

Per usual, Olsen was great during the game. He was up to the task of breaking down each offense. And was routinely able to explain Dan Campbell’s analytics-based decisions, as well as his misuse of a timeout at the end of regulation that ultimately helped the 49ers seal the win.

Despite that, it seems like Olsen is heading for an offseason demotion.

Tom Brady made it clear he is going to join Fox’s broadcast in 2024 after taking a year off post-retirement to recharge his batteries. Brady signed a $300 million deal to join the network, so it was always expected that he would displace Olsen when the time came.

“We’ve been planning for that for two years,” Olsen explained to The Athletic on Tuesday. “We knew when we took the job that Brady was there whenever he was going to decide to come,” Olsen said. “But the one thing I will say is I’m damn proud of what we did for two years. I don’t know any crew — from (Kevin) Burkhardt to Erin (Andrews) and Tom (Rinaldi) to our producer, our whole truck — I don’t know if anyone produces a better football game than we do.”

Olsen became a fan favorite during his two years on Fox’s No. 1 team thanks to his enthusiasm and the ease with which he breaks down the game. He was able to communicate advanced concepts — both analytical and otherwise — to fans, and that earned him their appreciation.

As such, it’s worth wondering where Olsen will end up next. He is planning to look at “the entire spectrum of opportunities” available to him, as he knows that he has established himself during his two-year run with Fox’s No. 1 crew.

“It’s hard to predict how all that plays out,” Olsen told The Athletic. “But my end goal is to call premiere games at the top of the ladder and that pursuit won’t change regardless of what happens this next year with my current role.”

MORE: Tom Brady praises Greg Olsen for work during 2023 NFL season

So, what’s next for Olsen? Here’s a breakdown of his potential landing spots, which includes the possibility of staying with Fox despite his demotion.

Greg Olsen landing spots

Fox’s No. 2 broadcast crew

Just because Olsen won’t be the No. 1 crew at Fox doesn’t mean he’s done with the network. He comported himself well during his two seasons as Fox’s top color commentator and endeared himself to people at the network.

“Fox’s management absolutely loves Olsen’s work,” according to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic.

With that in mind, Fox might be willing to give Olsen a sizable raise from the $3 million annually he would make on the No. 2 broadcast team. If that is on the table, it might be the prudent path for Olsen to take, according to Deitsch.

“Given Brady’s significant interests away from broadcasting, it seems unlikely he will come close to completing his 10-year broadcasting/ambassador deal with Fox,” Deitsch writes. “The network’s NFL package is such that its No. 2 games each week are arguably as good as Amazon’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ schedule. Olsen would also be working with an excellent play-by-play voice in Joe Davis and a great sideline reporter in Pam Oliver. Keep in mind, Fox gave Olsen the opportunity to be a No. 1 analyst and the network’s executives deserve credit for putting him in the chair when other places would have held out for a bigger NFL name.”

Certainly, that’s a strong case for staying put. And considering no other No. 1 analyst job is open right now, Olsen may conclude that this is his best opportunity to call quality games and eventually move back up the totem pole.

And who knows? If Brady struggles to transition to the booth, Olsen could find himself back in the No. 1 chair much sooner than expected.

MORE: How much is Fox paying Tom Brady?

NBC’s No. 2 crew as Cris Collinsworth’s successor

If Olsen decides to look elsewhere for opportunities, NBC might be the best landing spot for him among the networks with NFL broadcast rights.

The logic? Olsen would probably have the clearest path to a No. 1 analyst job with the company. Cris Collinsworth has long been entrenched at NBC, but he is only under contract through 2025. At that point, he will be entering his age-67 season, so it’s possible he could take a step back or shift into a studio role at that time.

That scenario gives Olsen a clear path to a top job in two years. He could take over the Jason Garrett role on NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show and serve as the program’s No. 2 broadcaster, which would give Olsen a chance to call a few marquee matchups every year.

Would it be as good as calling games on the No. 2 team at Fox? Maybe not. But if NBC can give him a guaranteed wait of two years until he takes over the No. 1 job, he may decide that is his most secure option.

NBC has been forward-thinking with its “Sunday Night Football” hires in recent years. It poached Mike Tirico from ESPN long before he needed to replace Al Michaels as the program’s play-by-play analyst and even gave Drew Brees a massive deal in an effort to make him Collinsworth’s eventual successor.

Olsen would be a sure thing, unlike Brees. That may be enough to convince NBC to strike, give Olsen a big deal and then figure out what a succession plan looks like from there.

MORE: Brady vs. Mahomes key stats to know in GOAT debate

Amazon Prime’s No. 1 crew as Kirk Herbstreit’s replacement

Many were surprised when Amazon Prime tapped Kirk Herbstreit to be Al Michaels’ partner on “Thursday Night Football.” After all, Herbstreit was better known for his college football coverage, so how would he do with weekly NFL responsibilities as well?

The answer: Herbstreit has been fine. He had to carry the broadcast at times, as Michaels’ fastball has lost some velocity, and Herbstreit has performed adequately in that role.

That said, it’s clear Herbstreit’s strength and passion remain in the college ranks. Given the amount of traveling he does for the college game — he routinely flies from ESPN’s College GameDay set to another location to call another game — he could be willing to lessen his workload a bit.

Amazon will surely have an interest in Olsen if he becomes available. So, if there’s a mutually beneficial deal to be had and Herbstreit is willing to surrender his post to focus on college football with the 12-team playoff era looming, perhaps he could exit the broadcast to make way for Olsen.

That seems like a long shot, however. And Herbstreit may not want to surrender a role that allows him to call both college and professional games at the highest level. But if that option were to present itself, Olsen would be a fit. 

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