Robert Griffin III sparks ESPN-Fox bidding war with all-time audition

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Robert Griffin III has emerged as a top target for both ESPN and Fox in football TV free agency.

ESPN has upped its offer after Fox showed heavy interest in Griffin as an NFL and college football analyst. Now both networks are waiting to see whether Griffin will try to play again or retires from the NFL to move into TV. Even if Griffin does decide to play, TV will be waiting for him when he ultimately retires. (Outkick first reported ESPN’s and Fox’s interest in Griffin.) 

The way Griffin, 31, has elevated his status as a potential broadcaster is interesting. Though he does have impressive credentials as a former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Rookie of the Year who has spent seven seasons in the NFL, he has not had a Peyton Manning-type pro career that makes him a no-brainer atop TV wish lists.

But Griffin really excelled in his auditions for ESPN and Fox. Sources from both networks were blown away by Griffin; some said Griffin’s was among the top tryouts they have ever viewed. 

ESPN’s offer contains a greater volume of opportunities than Fox’s. Griffin would call college games, do some college studio, and talk both college football and NFL on shows such as “Get Up!” during the week, sources said. 

ESPN is pursuing Griffin even as it continues to cut salaries among its top earners.

For Fox, RGIII could do some NFL games as an analyst and also pair with rising star Emmanuel Acho on pre-game, halftime and post-game college football shows on Fox and FS1, sources said. Griffin would also contribute to some of FS1’s weekday studio shows.

CBS also has a potential opening with Rich Gannon being let go, but the network had not had Griffin in for an audition.

Sanchize decision time

Former Jets quarterback and current ESPN analyst Mark Sanchez has an offer from Fox to become an NFL game analyst, The Post has learned. It would be for the position that was vacated when Chris Spielman left to go run the Detroit Lions.

ESPN very much wants to keep Sanchez. He is mostly featured on the Saturday college football studio show on ABC. 

Sanchez also auditioned with CBS, which has not decided whether to replace Gannon. Alex Smith, Sean Lee and Joey Galloway also were in for auditions with CBS.  

SVG to TNT?

Stan Van Gundy, let go by the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday after one season as head coach, would seem to be a no-brainer to return as a game analyst for TNT, which parted ways with Chris Webber prior to the NBA playoffs.

Van Gundy and Ian Eagle were TNT’s top team when they worked together last season.

TNT has favored going with a three-man booth for marquee events such as the All-Star game and the conference finals. The grouping of Eagle and Van Gundy with either Grant Hill or Reggie Miller would make the most sense as its No. 1 team. We could consider Kevin Harlan on play-by-play, but The Clicker’s simple philosophy is go with the best candidate, which is Eagle. 

If TNT went with a two-man booth, I think either Van Gundy or Hill working with Eagle would be a no-doubt success. Hill meshed well with Eagle this season, sounding as if he was having fun when they worked together on NBA games and the NCAA Tournament.

Van Gundy also could join forces with Dan Le Batard’s Meadowlark Media. He has a long-standing relationship with Le Batard’s crew.

Clicker Books

Papa Clicker calls Michael Kay’s “Centerstage (My Most Fascinating interviews from A-Rod to Jay-Z”) an interesting change-of-pace book. Kay turned his YES show into a book, elaborating on the program’s interviews with famous people from sports and beyond. Papa Clicker gives it a very nice 4.5 clickers out of 5.

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