MORGANTOWN. W.Va. — West Virginia’s unpredictable, yet always entertaining, former special teams ace Pat McAfee is on the move once more.
The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand reported Tuesday that McAfee’s hit multimedia program, The Pat McAfee Show, will join ESPN’s suite of weekday television programming. ESPN is planning on launching the show sometime this fall in coordination with its annual college football programming.
“We are extremely honored that ESPN is blessing us with this opportunity to be a part of the next chapter of the ESPN family,” he said in an ESPN press release. “We do not take that lightly and are going to work hard to make sure this is a success. All parties involved agree the time has come for a bunch of sports stooges in a Thunderdome in Indiana to sprinkle in some fun and celebration of sport as well.”
Last year, McAfee inked a four-year, $120 million deal with fantasy and sports betting giant FanDuel. Their collaboration largely manifested itself in cross-promotional content on McAfee’s YouTube show, and on FanDuel’s network of fantasy and betting apps. NFL.com’s Ian Rappaport noted at the time of the deal that the contract contained an opt-out clause after the deal’s third year, but McAfee appears to be exiting the agreement after just two years.
This would not be the first time the former Mountaineer surprised the nation by exiting from an agreement early. He still had two seasons remaining on his contract with the Indianapolis Colts — at a projected $2.95 million per year — when he abruptly retired in 2017 at the age of 29, citing injury concerns and a desire to pursue a media career at sports and entertainment hybrid Barstool Sports. Almost two years later, he left Barstool Sports to launch his current media enterprise, Pat McAfee Inc., in Indianapolis.
He started his career at WVU as a kicker in 2005, and he picked up punting duties during his sophomore season in 2006. As a junior, he was awarded the Scott Shirley Special Teams Player of the Year Award by the coaching staff. He also earned a second-team All Big East nod, and he joined the university’s soccer team in 2008. As a senior, he was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, which is given to the nation’s best punter.
In 2009, he was selected in the seventh round with the No. 222 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts as a punter. In his first professional season, the Colts lost Super Bowl XLIV, and McAfee was named to the 2009 All-Rookie team. He played with the Colts for eight seasons, earning two Pro Bowl nods and one first-team All-Pro selection.
As he did in the past, McAfee will also make select appearances on college football broadcasts on ESPN. He will continue his role as a full-time analyst on ESPN’s popular Saturday show, College Gameday.
Financial details about his new deal are unclear.