Stephen A. Smith is, arguably, the most recognizable talent at ESPN. On any given day, the wild personality can be seen (and heard from rooms away blasting through TV speakers), arguing about a variety of sports topics, always trying to get the last laugh with whomever he’s going head-to-head with on shows like First Take and his radio show. With as much as Smith puts into the Worldwide Leader, it only makes sense that the company is looking to incentivize him in a big way.
That’s the report from The Big Lead, which claims to have gotten some insider information about the discussions between ESPN and Stephen A. Smith, with rumors leaking out that Stephen A. could be signing an extension that would run through the year 2025, and be worth “tens of millions.” Here’s what The Big Lead had to say based off of its sources.
Stephen A. Smith and ESPN are nearing a blockbuster long-term extension that would see him signed with the Worldwide Leader through 2025, The Big Lead has learned. The deal, in total, will be worth tens of millions of dollars. A source cautioned that the deal has not been 100 percent finalized.
Smith’s contract is up in the next year, and by the time new deal goes into effect you can expect to see more deliberate usage of Smith’s time on television. Where in the past several years it has been a guessing game of when and where he’d pop up — Get Up, SportsCenter, NBA coverage, you name it — there will be a more regimented schedule for him on TV. You started to see this already with the announcement, made by ESPN today and reported by The Big Lead in August, that he will lead SportsCenter before NBA games on Wednesday nights.
Based off that info above, it sure seems like sports fans, particularly NBA fans, will see lots of Stephen A. Smith; so get ready to hear lots of loud opinions.
Now, this news probably isn’t too shocking considering all that Stephen A. does for ESPN. Hell, not long ago, the guy even boasted about how he deserves to be the highest-paid employee at ESPN, so it’s sort of expected that the network would reward him for all his contributions. But to think it could be “tens of millions” of dollars, as The Big Lead put it, might be extreme for some of Smith’s fellow colleagues. Mainly because it’s unprecedented territory.
According to public record, Mike Greenberg, who hosts Get Up, is paid $6.5 million annually. So to put Stephen A. Smith’s potential new contract with ESPN in perspective, he’ll be earning millions more than Greeny. And, although no deal is finalized at this point, it does feel like a blockbuster extension is imminent, so it’s just a matter of time before Smith is backing up the Brinks truck to talk sports on the daily. Talk about a pretty good gig, huh?