The NFL’s Most-Watched Free Agent Is Finally Off the Market

Richard Sherman and Todd Gurley are still out there looking for their next assignment, but the NFL free agency target that many fans tune in to see each week is finally off the market. However, don’t look for him on the field playing for your favorite team this fall. That’s because the latest signing is Scott Hanson, the anchor of the NFL RedZone with an impressive ironman streak intact.

Scott Hanson will continue hosting NFL RedZone

Hanson was there on Day 1 when the NFL RedZone made its debut on Sept. 13, 2009, and the former Syracuse University football player has never missed an episode of the show, which brings fans up to date on the latest developments from seven hours of live action throughout the day.

It’s hardcore fans’ ticket to seeing every touchdown from every game, and the action can be dizzying when there are up to eight games sharing the screen at once. The RedZone crew has dubbed the fourth quarter on Sundays “The Witching Hour.” With several games typically nail-biters down the stretch, no one at home wants to head to the bathroom or the kitchen out of fear of missing a crucial development.

And Hanson remains unflappable throughout, making the decision by the NFL Network to retain him easy. His job security should play well with fans, who frequently pay Hanson $199 a pop to produce custom birthday greetings and other messages on Cameo.com.

Front Office Sports was the first to report that Hanson, 50, had agreed to a new multi-year contract. The website reported that Hanson, who was previously working on a one-year contract, will also continue to cover the Super Bowl, as well as the annual drafts and scouting combines.

An NFL Network spokesman declined to confirm or deny the report, and the website said Hanson could not be reached for comment.

Scott Hanson is quite adventurous in the offseason

NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson poses on the red carpet at the NFL Honors on Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta, GA. | Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson poses on the red carpet at the NFL Honors on Feb. 2, 2019, in Atlanta, GA. | Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hanson said that many of the Cameo.com requests ask him to recite his trademark lines (“Are you ready for the OctoBox?”), but he worked with one customer last year to set up a marriage proposal.

He also routinely gets requests from overseas, which fits nicely into his wheelhouse since Hanson is a globetrotter during the offseason. Hanson said in a recent interview that he has run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and went cage diving with great white sharks in Australia. He has also performed volunteer work with Christian charities in Africa, India, and the Amazon.

The NFL has been doing cost-cutting in media operations

While the new contract is good news for Hanson, there are questions about the future of NFL media operations as a whole. Front Office Sports previously reported that the league has engaged Goldman Sachs to explore selling a minority stake in NFL Media Group, the organization that runs NFL.com, NFL Network, and NFL RedZone.

In a move likely aimed at making the balance sheet look better to a prospective investor, NFL Media Group has been cutting costs during the offseason, including letting go of approximately 10% of the staff. Well-known reporters Michael Silver and Mark Kriegel left this summer when their contracts expired, the website reported.

In that light, hanging on to a popular figure like Hanson was a necessity.

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