Joe Buck on future with Fox, possible jump to ESPN with Troy Aikman: ‘I’m kind of in limbo’

Joe Buck certainly sounds open to making the jump to ESPN.

The longtime Fox announcer hasn’t made any decisions about his future just yet, and he still has another year left on his contract. He does, though, appear to be interested in following his longtime broadcast partner Troy Aikman to the “Monday Night Football” booth.

“I don’t know where I’m going to be next year,” Buck said on his “Daddy Issues” podcast on Thursday, via Awful Announcing. “I know Troy’s gone — he’s now at ESPN. I’m kind of in limbo. I’ve got another year under contract at Fox. They have expressed interest in keeping me. They also know that was a big partnership that I had with Troy.”

Aikman reportedly leaving Fox for ESPN

Aikman is reportedly set to leave Fox for ESPN in a $90 million deal to work as the lead analyst on “Monday Night Football.”

The move will break up his partnership with Buck, which started in 2002.

Naturally, many have speculated that Buck will follow Aikman to ESPN, and it’s easy to see why. The duo, regardless of how polarizing Buck may be for some viewers, is among the best and most recognizable voices in the NFL.

The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported last month that the network was interested in trying to get Buck, and Aikman has said that he doesn’t want to stop working with him.

"I think a lot of partners get along, but to be as good friends as what we are — he truly is one of my best friends," Aikman said of Buck. "He's been a fantastic partner, in my opinion the best in the business. Yeah, there's nothing I'd love more than to continue to work with him."

Buck had very similar feelings about Aikman. The chemistry they’ve built, he said, is unlike anything else.

“When I’m doing a game with Troy, I’m never looking at Troy,” Buck said. “I’m looking at the field. I’m looking at the monitors in front of me or John Smoltz [on baseball telecasts] or whoever I’ve worked with over time. But I can sense little movements that they do that lets me know he wants to jump in, he wants to say something. … You’re constantly reading body language and taking hints and clues without actually being told, ‘I want to talk about this.’

“There’s a comfort level in a job that is extremely intense these days, doing live sporting events at that level for 30, 50, 100 million people at a time. You need to make sure that you’re on the same page with the person working next to you and that person has your back. And that person knows you have theirs. That’s what we’ve built up over 20 years.”

If Buck ends up staying with Fox, the network has plenty of candidates to place him with. Greg Olsen is their No. 2 analyst currently, and both former Saints coach Sean Payton and NBC analyst Drew Brees have been mentioned as possible options.

But that new partnership, however it looks, will take time to figure out. If Buck ends up rejoining Aikman, ESPN would finally have the high-quality booth for “Monday Night Football” that it’s been trying to land unsuccessfully for years.

Announcer Joe Buck
Nothing has been decided yet, but Joe Buck certainly sounds open to joining Troy Aikman at ESPN. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)