AP Source: ESPN tabs Levy, Griese and Riddick for MNF booth

Fri Jul 31 4:07pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer

Louis Riddick speaks with the ESPN Monday Night Countdown crew before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Cleveland Browns in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick will be the new announce team for ESPN's ''Monday Night Football'' according to a person familiar with the decision.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the network has not announced its decision. ESPN biographer Jim Miller was the first to report on the new booth.

The trio has familiarity working together. They called the late game in last season's Week 1 doubleheader between Denver and Oakland.

The MNF booth has had frequent changes since Mike Tirico departed for NBC in 2016. Tirico was the play-by-play voice for 10 seasons (2006-15) and teamed with Jon Gruden for the last seven. Sean McDonough took over for Tirico for 2016 and '17 and worked with Gruden.

After Gruden left to take over as Raiders coach and McDonough sought to move back to college football, ESPN went with the three-man booth of Joe Tessitore, Jason Witten and Booger McFarland in 2018. Witten struggled as an analyst and decided to return to the playing field last year.

While ratings had increased the past two seasons, the announcing was widely criticized. ESPN is hoping this booth has more staying power.

Levy has been a ''SportsCenter'' anchor for most of his 27 years at the network, but returned to announcing games in 2016. He has teamed with Griese on college football the past four seasons. They have also called Denver Broncos preseason contests.

Griese joined ESPN in 2009 following an 11-year NFL career. He also was an analyst on radio for the Broncos for two seasons as well as working with Beth Mowens on an MNF game in 2018.

Riddick has been an integral part of ESPN's NFL studio shows, including Monday Night halftime and postgame, but has long wanted to get his shot at being in the booth. He expanded his repertoire last year when he was the analyst for Friday night college football games.

Lisa Salters is expected to return as the sideline reporter and John Parry as the rules analyst.

With NFL preseason games being canceled, the trio's debut will likely be the Tennessee Titans-Denver Broncos game on Sept. 14, which will be the second game of the doubleheader. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit are expected to call the Pittsburgh Steelers-New York Giants game and could be in the mix for more MNF games if the college football season is scrapped.

Player Notes
Baker Mayfield Aug 14 5:10pm ET

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he's "finding out how to get back to the basics" after a disappointing sophomore campaign in 2019. "I lost myself in that and I wasn't able to be who I am for these guys on the team. I told them that," Mayfield continued. "I told them that if I'm not doing that, hold me accountable." Head coach Kevin Stefanski's zone-run and play-action scheme should fit Mayfield better, but some fantasy owners may still be skeptical. Mayfield was being taken as a top-five fantasy signal-caller in 2019. That won't happen in 2020 drafts, but the 25-year-old from Oklahoma could surprise some as a QB1 with an improved supporting cast.

From RotoBaller

Dalvin Cook Aug 14 5:00pm ET

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook plans to be a full participant at training camp while he seeks a long-term contract extension. "I'm out there full go, 1,000 percent," Cook said. The RB1 in fantasy should be present for workouts on Monday for the start of camp. The 25-year-old second-rounder was a top-five running back last year despite missing two games due to injury. With the Vikings passing game less of a certainty now that Stefon Diggs is in Buffalo, Minnesota could lean even more on Cook, both on the ground and through the air. Fantasy managers probably won't view the former Florida State running back as elite because of injury concerns, but he's been pretty money in his short career when he's on the field.

From RotoBaller

Marcus Mariota Aug 14 4:50pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that quarterback Marcus Mariota "really fired me up today" at training camp on Friday. He has turned a corner with his ankle (injury) and he is a dazzling playmaker. He had a very nice day. It might just be coach speak, and we all know that Gruden typically loves almost every player he's laid eyes on in the NFL, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Incumbent Derek Carr could easily be on the hot seat early in 2020 if he doesn't impress the coaching staff with his production, and Mariota, despite his failures in Tennessee, remains athletic and is one of the highest-paid backup QBs in the league. If Mariota winds up making starts this year, he'd be a low-ceiling, low-end QB2.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Siemian Aug 14 4:43pm ET

Free-agent QB Trevor Siemian (Jets) worked out for the Detroit Lions Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Bronson Kaufusi Aug 14 4:33pm ET

New York Jets RB Kenneth Dixon (hip), DE Bronson Kaufusi (hamstring) and LB Jabari Zuniga (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Cordarrelle Patterson Aug 14 4:30pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson has been meeting with the running backs at camp, instead of the wide receivers. This could be an indication that head coach Matt Nagy is planning to use the speedy receiver out of the backfield more this year. This is Patterson's second year with the Bears. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 83 yards while adding 17 rushes for 103 yards. It's certainly an intriguing development, but we'll need to see it play out quite a bit more before we start to get excited about Patterson for fantasy purposes.

From RotoBaller

Mychal Kendricks Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Free-agent LB Mychal Kendricks (Seahawks) received interest from the Las Vegas Raiders, but the two sides were not able to reach a contract agreement, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Romeo Okwara Aug 14 4:03pm ET

Detroit Lions DE Romeo Okwara (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14. The team also waived S Jeremiah Dinson.

From TheHuddle

Jahleel Addae Aug 14 3:53pm ET

Free-agent S Jahleel Addae (Texans) is scheduled to work out for the Minnesota Vikings, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Kevin Stefanski Aug 14 3:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter underwent knee surgery on Thursday according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. The veteran lineman reportedly had the surgery to remove loose bodies from the knee. Stefanski would not elaborate on how long Tretter would be out but the NFL Network reported that he will probably only miss a couple weeks. In Tretters absence, rookie center Nick Harris will get a chance to show what he can do. Tretter is a key piece to a revamped Cleveland offensive line this year.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Williams Aug 14 3:33pm ET

New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (undisclosed) was activated from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Frank Gore Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Frank Gore (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Adam Gase said Gore was held out as a precaution.

Fantasy Spin: Gore likely will be the No. 2 running back for the Jets and see a handful of carries each game. He could be a handcuff to Le'Veon Bell in fantasy leagues but probably will not have a big fantasy impact.

From TheHuddle

Pierre Desir Aug 14 3:23pm ET

New York Jets CB Pierre Desir (hamstring) did not participate in practice Friday, Aug. 14.

From TheHuddle

Baker Mayfield Aug 14 3:13pm ET

Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield said Friday, Aug. 14, he 'lost myself' in 2019 and started doubting himself after a couple of sub-par performances. Mayfield, though, said Friday that's in the past. 'In a much better state, mentally, physically. Just ready to roll,' Mayfield told reporters at training camp. 'Back to where I need to be to be the leader.'

Fantasy Spin: Drafted as a breakout No. 1 QB last season, Mayfield stumbled badly, throwing for five fewer touchdowns and seven more interceptions than he did as a rookie in 2018. He should bounce back the other way some in 2020, but he's still figures to wind up as a QB2 when all's said and done.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Miller Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating previous report, New England Patriots RB Lamar Miller received a one-year, $1.05 million contract that includes $200,000 in guarantees with $1.5 million also available in 'achievable' incentives.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Reed Aug 14 2:53pm ET

Updating a previous report, San Francisco TE Jordan Reed signed a one-year, $1.05 million contract. The deal also includes up to $750,000 in playing-time incentives.

From TheHuddle

Aaron Rodgers Aug 14 2:50pm ET

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre told the 'Load Management' podcast that he would "love to see" Aaron Rodgers on the Chicago Bears one day. History could be repeating itself after the Packers traded up to draft quarterback Jordan Love in the first round of this year's draft. Many have speculated and assumed that this was not happy news for Rodgers, prompting many to wonder how much longer Rodgers will be in a Packers uniform. Despite a dip in production in the second half of 2019, Rodgers still passed for 4,002 yards with 26 touchdowns and only four interceptions. The 36-year-old still has plenty of ability but currently finds himself towards the end of many fantasy top-10 QB lists. The former MVP will be a reliable option but will be drafted in the later rounds for the first time in his career.

From RotoBaller

Myles Garrett Aug 14 1:53pm ET

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (hamstring) and C JC Tretter (knee) both missed practice in training camp Friday, Aug. 14. Garrett is dealing with a 'tweaked' hamstring, but head coach Kevin Stefanski said he's not seriously concerned about the injury and doesn't expect Garrett to miss much time. Tretter, meanwhile, is out after undergoing an unspecified knee procedure, and Stefanski did not have a timeline on his return.

From TheHuddle

Tavon Austin Aug 14 1:43pm ET

Free agents WRs Tavon Austin (Cowboys) and JJ Nelson (Raiders) are expected to sign Friday, Aug. 14, with the San Francisco 49ers, pending results of physicals, per a league source.

From TheHuddle

Leonard Williams Aug 14 1:43pm ET

New York Giants DT Leonard Williams (hamstring) was removed from the Active/Non-Football Injury list Fridau, Aug. 14, and took part in practice.

From TheHuddle