REPORT: Stephen A Smith Rejects Offer From ESPN, Demands Ridiculous New Salary Amid Massive Layoffs

ESPN has laid off a ton of employees in the past few years, but that fact is not going to stop Stephen A Smith from getting the money that he wants and thinks he deserves as a top talent on the network.

ESPN is trying hard not to let Stephen A Smith leave the network as it was reported that the Worldwide Leader in Sports offered a whopping $90 million over five years, which would see him with an annual salary of $18 million.

Stephen A Smith in pink suit on NBA coverage

That is damn good money to have, but it appears to be a slap in the face for Smith.

ESPN reportedly pitched to Smith’s agency, WME, that he could become the highest-paid talent on their team, but Puck News stated Smith is demanding $7 million more than that for his next deal.

Journalist James Andrew Miller was recently on the “SI Media with Jimmy Traina” podcast when he revealed Smith wanted a “big, big number.”

“I think there have been preliminary talks already that have started,” Miller said of Smith and ESPN. “He’s looking for a big, big number. And I also feel, given the content world, he doesn’t even have to have another offer from one entity for that big number.

“I think what ESPN is up against is the possibility that WME could go out and create an architecture where Stephen A. has a podcast, a this, a deal with this, a deal with that, whatever, and at the end of the day, it’s $20 million a year.” media insider John Ourand said Smith has asked for “some $25 million” annually.

Smith’s contract with ESPN is set to expire in 2025.

Stephen A Smith Threatened To Go Independent If ESPN Doesn’t Pay Him

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Stephen A. Smith is undoubtedly ESPN’s biggest star, but they could certainly lose his voice forever when his contract expires in 2025.

Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported earlier this year that Smith is threatening to leave should he not get what he deserves, and he already has something in mind.

“Report: Stephen A. Smith is likely to go ‘independent or to late night TV’ If ESPN doesn’t pay him when his current contract expires in 18 months. ‘If he doesn’t get the bag, he’s gonna split.’”

During an appearance on Outkick The Show, Smith made it very clear that he deserves to be the highest-paid analyst on ESPN.

“Yes, I’m not stuttering. Hell, yes, that’s absolutely true,” Smith said when asked if he deserves to be the highest-paid. “… In the world of sports television, Clay Travis, I’ve been No. 1 for 12 years. April 1st will mark 12 consecutive years I’ve been No. 1. Not only have I been No. 1 every year, I’ve been No. 1 every week and every month of every year for the last 12 years. You don’t get to say that about too many people.”

“I’m the one that’s been No. 1,” Smith stated. “And at the end of the day, it would be nice, one day, for this man to stand before everyone and be like, ‘I’m No. 1, and this says I’m No. 1.’”

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