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ESPN blocks Fox Sports’ pursuit of NFL analyst Damien Woody


ESPN intends to maintain NFL analyst Damien Woody after Fox Sports pursued him with a potentially huge raise. Fox planned to team Woody with Craig Carton on Carton’s forthcoming latest Fox Sports 1 TV show, The Post has learned. 

Woody has one-year remaining on his ESPN contract, which allowed the network to dam the move. 

Fox Sports had not made an official offer, but planned to maneuver fast and go strong after Woody to consummate a deal. 

ESPN and Fox Sports declined comment. 

The Post previously reported that Carton had signed with Fox Sports for the early-morning program. 

The 44-year-old Woody, an NFL guard from 1999-2010 with the Jets, Patriots and Lions, has been with ESPN for 11 years. He has made regular appearances on “First Take,” “Get Up!” and “SportsCenter.” 

There may be recent precedent for letting commentators out of their deals early. Fox Sports allowed the face of its network, Joe Buck, to depart with a yr remaining on his deal for a five-year, $75 million contract with ESPN to call “Monday Night Football” with Troy Aikman, who also left Fox. 

Fox felt it was the proper thing to do after Buck had been a top performer for the network for nearly three a long time and since there was a sense that he was going to depart in a yr anyway. 

Damien WoodyDamien Woody is remaining with ESPN. Getty Images for SiriusXM

Damien WoodyDamien Woody played three seasons with the Jets. Getty Images

Besides Buck and Woody, Fox and ESPN have been fighting over other on-air personalities. Only in the near past, Dan Orlovsky stayed at ESPN after Fox desired to make him a part of what will likely be reimagined daytime programming. 

In recent times, Fox has hired former ESPNers Tom Rinaldi, Emmanuel Acho, Jonathan Vilma and Adam Amin. 

Fox went after Woody, but ESPN is obstructing any official negotiations because it values what Woody has delivered to the rankings success of its opinion shows. That’s the reason ESPN desires to keep Woody and why Fox Sports wanted him to be Carton’s partner. 

No Mondays for Moss 

Randy Moss will proceed on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” but is not going to be on the pregame show on Monday nights, The Post has learned. The choice was Moss’ and occurred because the two sides negotiated a latest contract. 

Amazon Prime Video showed interest in Moss for its “Thursday Night Football” studio shows, in keeping with sources. While Moss doesn’t make much news with opinions as an analyst, ESPN loves his, “You bought Mossed” segment and the way he rates with its focus groups. 

Clicker book club 

Papa Clicker’s latest review is of “Gabe Paul: The Long Road to the Bronx Zoo,” by William A. Cook. The book traces Paul’s six-plus a long time in baseball, from being a bat boy to working as an executive at the best level with quite a few teams, including the Reds, Astros and the Yankees. Paul’s relationship on the Yankees with George Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson, along together with his many trades, are examined. The book receives 4.15 out of 5 clickers.

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