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ESPN Whopper: Stephen A. Smith Offered $90 Million Contract Over Five Years

stephen a smith
Source: MEGA

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith was reportedly pitched a whopping $90 million contract to stay put at the network desperate to keep him.

Jun. 26 2024, Published 2:30 p.m. ET

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ESPN's Stephen A. Smith was reportedly pitched a whopping $90 million contract to stay at the network desperate to keep him, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Since joining ESPN in 2003, the First Take host has become the face and voice of the sports channel, which has seen several high-profile talents depart in recent years.

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stephen a smith
Source: MEGA

Smith, the host of 'First Take,' has become the face and voice of ESPN since he joined the network in 2003.

With his contract set to expire next year, ESPN offered their beloved host $18 million per year for five years to keep him, according to Puck News. The deal, which execs reportedly presented him with around mid-June, would make Smith the network's highest-paid personality — surpassing the earnings of Monday Night Football’s Troy Aikman and Joe Buck.

However, Smith reportedly “covets" the $25 million-per-year deal given to Pat McAfee’s production company to leave FanDuel. McAfee has a production deal rather than a traditional talent contract, and the fee covers all operating costs.

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stephen a smith
Source: MEGA

The sports personality reportedly "covets" a deal given to Pat McAfee's production company.

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Puck's John Ourand wrote in a follow-up report this week that Smith, too, "wants a McAfee-style deal structure that would pay him out like he’s running his own production company."

McAfee has also yet to decide whether to accept ESPN's offer of roughly $5 million per year to appear on College GameDay, per Ourand.

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During an interview on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday, Smith discussed his future in broadcasting and what's ahead for his own podcast, The Stephen A. Smith Show, which operates independently of ESPN.

Known for his fiery debates and delving into political discussions on his podcast, Smith told Rich Eisen that while he's "never leaving sports" — calling the industry his "bread and butter" — he's also "not married" to the athletic world. The ESPN talent emphasized how much he enjoys talking politics and being "open to all the possibilities."

"I like talking about some of the political issues that are percolating and are permeating throughout our society and beyond,” he said. “That stuff does not scare me."

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stephen a smith
Source: MEGA

Smith's podcast, "The Stephen A. Smith Show," operates independently of ESPN.

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"Certainly, it’s a dangerous platform at times, I understand that," he continued. "Particularly in the climate that we live in, but I also like to be that renegade.”

Smith also expressed a desire to run his own business, saying this was something he "never had the freedom to do" until recently. He reflected on the unexpected path that brought him to the pinnacle of sports media, saying, “I never imagined my life would become what it has. But the challenges have made me grateful for the person I’ve become.”

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