Pat McAfee could walk away from $120M-plus FanDuel deal


March 15, 2023 | 9:11 a.m

Pat McAfee’s show has been the center of the sports world with his Aaron Rodgers guest spots, but there is an equally intriguing story involving McAfee’s future.

It is in play that McAfee could walk away from his four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel, The Post has learned.

He is in the second year of a deal that pays him more than $30 million a year.

McAfee has risen to sports media success by doing it his way; first by retiring as a Pro Bowler to join Barstool Sports, then leaving Barstool to strike it out on his own.

If he were to walk away from FanDuel, it could be another level of brave. That said, it seems McAfee will only jump if he knows where he’s landing.

McAfee has consistently bet on himself and won, which means he will trust his instincts first and foremost and not others.

It’s definitely “Up to Something” season, which is the on-air phrase McAfee uses when talking about new deals.

He said it recently on his show. And it could be big.

Pat McAfee
Getty Images

McAfee has been in talks with other entities, including Amazon, according to sources.

Another possibility could be Google/YouTube, which just did a big business for NFL Sunday Ticket.

Apple and McAfee do not want to match, but probably cannot be completely ruled out. Could someone, like fanatics, eventually emerge as a wild card? There could also be more traditional players.

McAfee is relentless in his media career, but he is also restless.

In recent weeks, he removed the FanDuel emblem from his show.

The sponsor logo had been watermarked throughout his program in the right corner.

In a series of DMs with The Post last week, he was evasive about what’s going on with FanDuel, but he said there is no rift.

During the Super Bowl, McAfee was noticeably absent from FanDuel’s ad that featured Rob Gronkowski and McAfee’s former teammate, Adam Vinatieri, attempting a live field goal to win $10 million for customers.

As FanDuel’s biggest star and a former kicker/punter, McAfee would seem like a natural fit for such an ad.

When asked if he was disappointed to be shut out of the Super Bowl berth, McAfee said, “No sir.”

As for FanDuel, a spokesperson for the sports gambling platform declined to directly address its lack of emblem on McAfee’s show.

“We truly value our relationship with Pat, and we’re always evaluating how to work to engage his audience,” the FanDuel spokesperson said.

Pat McAfee announced the Colts selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.

McAfee, 35, has had a whirlwind existence that has brought him to the center of the sports media world after walking away from the Colts in 2017 and the final two years of a contract that was supposed to pay him about $6 million.

It’s not just the weekly paid appearances of Rodgers being a part of the show, but it’s the energy that McAfee, AJ Hawk and his team bring to the show.

That’s why so many devices have been queuing up to work with McAfee.

The idea of ​​partnering with a network could potentially allow McAfee to stay with FanDuel or find a new playing partner, according to sources.

But it feels like McAfee might want to simplify and possibly cut back on his responsibilities because it’s more complicated than just turning on the microphones for three hours.

In addition to his daily show, McAfee and his wife are expecting their first daughter in a few months.

He is being sued by Brett Favre for defamation.

Plus, while running a daily show is fun and comes with freedoms, it also includes all the headaches of owning a business.

McAfee doesn’t just do the daily talk show either.

He worked WWE’s “Friday Night Smackdown” on Fox before moving to ESPN’s “College GameDay” on Saturdays in the fall.

Aside from a Royal Rumble appearance, he has yet to return to WWE since the college football season ended.

It’s a lot of traveling, even for someone with McAfee’s energy to carry him. McAfee has also done college football “Manningcasts” for Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions. He has a multi-year deal with ESPN, according to sources.

McAfee has left deals early with Barstool, DAZN, Westwood One, and he opted not to renew with SiriusXM last year.

An early FanDuel exit would be another level.

While McAfee wouldn’t say what’s going on with FanDuel, sources said FanDuel executives have been supportive as McAfee explores what’s next for him and the company.

It’s definitely “Up to Something” season for McAfee. He is daring – the question is, how daring?

“(There’s) a lot of moving pieces right now,” McAfee, who represents himself, said during our direct messages last week. “Not quite sure where this is going to end. No beef, all love with FD (and you.) Just trying to make my show and life easier. I’ll probably have a lot more info and direction late next week.”

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