Will Tom Brady be a game-winner in the TV booth? His 37.5 million reasons point to yes:

The legend of Tom Brady, from sixth-round draft pick to GOAT, is impossible without his work ethic.

In his future broadcasting career – worth $ 37.5 million annually at Fox for the seven-time Super Bowl champion once he retires for good – he’ll have to rely on it the same as during his playing days.

“He’s Tom Brady,” former CBS broadcaster Dan Fouts told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s got the chops for it and he’ll work hard at it. I think he’ll want to be great.”

But former quarterbacks-turned-network-analysts who have made similar transitions and others in the industry are bullish on Brady the broadcaster. Well-spoken? Check. Face for television? Absolutely. Nobody in the history of football has a more accomplished pedigree, his longevity makes his acumen naturally encyclopedic and his intersections with pop culture make him relevant.

None of that means he’ll be the next John Madden. Could he fall flat and pull a one-and-done like Drew Brees? Joe Namath, a childhood hero of Brady while growing up, lasted nine games during the 1985 season.

But optimism persists because, well, it’s Tom Brady.

Does Brady have personality for broadcast chair?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, left, and quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Fla., Feb.  7, 2021.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski, left, and quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrate after the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Tampa, Fla., Feb. 7, 2021.

What fueled 10 Super Bowl appearances and five MVPs, Brady has gradually revealed over his 22-year career in interviews and, more recently, in self-produced documentaries “Man in the Arena” and “Tom vs. Time,” is a desire to be the undisputed best.

“There’s a reason why he’s been playing as long as he has. There’s a reason why he’s won seven Super Bowls and it’s because he doesn’t take any shortcuts,” said Troy Aikman, the man whose offseason bolt to ESPN from Fox set the deal in motion, on a call with reporters Monday. “He’s not going to broadcast and I think that blueprint is one that not everyone follows. But I think he’ll be great.”

That competitive nature will serve him well in broadcasting.

If Brady prepares for broadcasts the same way he breaks down an opponent during the fall, he’ll have little issue, said Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who was a color commentator for 15 years on Seattle Seahawks radio broadcasts.

“He’s well-spoken,” Moon told USA TODAY Sports. “He knows the game inside and out. He’ll be able to give a lot of perspective.”

Brady spouting his football genius is the expectation. But the personality aspect of broadcasting – like Tony Romo’s excitement before a pivotal play or Cris Collinsworth’s silky style (chair slide and all) – is an unknown until the camera lights are red and the mic is on.

There will be pressure, Moon said – but who’s more clutch than Brady?

“I think people will be surprised by his personality, given that for 22 years in New England, he was pretty much a company guy and did not speak too far out of the lane. But over the last couple of years he’s started to show more personality and you’ll see even more come out over this next year and as he’s going to get into the booth. “

Indeed, Brady’s social media personality has become more prevalent recently – not even the TikTok trends are spared.

“I’ve talked to Tom over the years,” Moon said, “and he’s got a little bit more than what he shows the public all the time.”

Prominent sports agent Leigh Steinberg, who’s represented quarterbacks who transitioned to broadcasting like Aikman and Steve Young (Desmond Howard is another former client who went from the gridiron to analyst desk), said Brady will reveal more of his sense of humor.

“I think you’ll see different sides to him that the public has rarely seen before,” Steinberg told USA TODAY Sports.

Brady ‘a natural as a commentator’

The expectation is that Brady will join Fox’s No. 1 “Game of the Week” broadcast alongside play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch announced the Brady deal, and terms were later reported by the New York Post, during an earnings call last week.

Other than Burkhardt slightly acknowledging it during a Fox-produced interview, the company has remained silent regarding Brady.

For a network that dealt with the loss of longtime No. 1 pairing Joe Buck and Aikman to ESPN, reeling in Brady was a dramatic counter.

“Re-anchoring that position and giving themselves one of the most iconic athletes in American sports and a sensational brand, in other words,” Steinberg said. “Tom Brady epitomizes analytical, intelligent quarterbacks. He’s a natural as a commentator. And with the loss of Aikman, this gives them one of the most popular athletes in the country and someone who has done what no one has ever done in football before.”

While covering his games, Fouts remembers having conversations with Brady about entering the broadcast business one day. Brady appeared unenthusiastic about the gig.

So what changed?

“Oh, maybe a comma, or two, or three,” said Fouts, who’s in the Hall of Fame and called NFL games for more than 25 years.

The $ 37.5 million per year salary in the 10-year deal is more than Brady made in all but one of his 22 seasons. But it’s pennies compared to what Fox pays annually for NFL rights fees, and there is a rationale behind it, said Steinberg. Fox pays $ 2.2 billion annually for a package that allows for three Super Bowls over the next 12 years and the exclusive Sunday late afternoon NFC window, which it has been since 1994, plus holiday games.

“(Fox is) not going to get back in advertising what they give up in rights fees, but it has some value of distinguishing them on an overcrowded dial so that they could advertise where the real money comes, which is Monday through Friday programming, he said.

Moon said the Brady price tag does not show a lot of respect for Troy Aikman ($ 20 million annually at ESPN) and Romo ($ 18 million at CBS).

“That’s what comes with the success that he’s had, and I think the network understand that they want TV ratings,” Moon said. “So they feel like with Tom Brady’s success and the way he can draw people in, that they’ll make that money back very easily.”

On-field experience gives Brady insight:

Brady is no stranger to the camera or the microphone. He’s fulfilled media obligations at least twice a week during the football season for more than two decades, does a weekly 30-minute radio show on Sirius XM and has made cameos in Hollywood. He also co-founded a media company with NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Fame aside, any quarterback receives plenty of media exposure.

“We’re interviewed constantly,” Moon said.

Fouts said being on the other side for so long will offer plenty of insight into how to do the job. There will be times Brady needs to be critical of some people he played with or against.

“That’s a fine line you have to walk, as a former player and now as a broadcaster … and that’s not always an easy thing to do,” Fouts said.

Moon said developing chemistry and timing with Burkhardt, who joined Fox in 2013 to call NFL games, will unlock the foundation for broadcast success.

“Getting in and out of your points to make sure you allow him time to set up the next play,” Moon said. “And you also want to try and create some kind of story or theme throughout the game.

“It’s totally different (than) doing a documentary or doing a film, because you have a lot more time to talk and express yourself. I do not know if Tom was really that interested in doing this and I’m sure that offer just kept going up and going up and got to the point where it’s kind of hard to turn that type of money away. “

In addition to the money, the lifestyle of a broadcaster could be appealing to Brady, who clearly wants to remain connected to the game while only having to work during the season instead of year-round.

“He’s used to a vigorous work schedule,” Steinberg said. “So that’s a matter of personal choice, but it does not surprise that someone with his off-the-chart work habits would want to stay busy.”

When he decides to translate those habits from the field to the booth remains to be seen.

“It’s a great profession, a great job,” said Fouts. “I know he’ll enjoy it.”

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter: @BOOMbaca:.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady has 37.5 million reasons to win in TV booth. But will he?

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