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Peyton Manning: It 'Wasn’t the Right Time' to Join Monday Night Football

ESPN opted to keep Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland as a two-man booth after Manning turned down the gig.

Peyton Manning said he passed on joining ESPN's Monday Night Football booth as an analyst because it wasn't the right time for him to make the move. 

"I talked to the Monday Night Football folks," Manning said Thursday, according to the Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran. "I enjoyed talking to them. I had great conversation. It wasn’t the right time this year. Maybe it will never be."

Manning was approached after Jason Witten decided to come out of retirement (and the MNF booth) to the return to the field for the Cowboys. Instead, the network will keep play-by-play man Joe Tessitore and analyst Booger McFarland as a two-man booth. Lisa Salters will cover MNF on the sidelines. 

ESPN's network president Jimmy Pitaro and content chief Connor Schell reportedly took a trip to Denver on March 11 to meet with Manning about the analyst gig. The two-time Super Bowl champion has been reluctant to join the booth, leaving ESPN to continue the search for its own Tony Romo, who has dominated broadcasts for CBS.