It looks like ESPN host Stephen A. Smith will get his new sparring partner soon.
And it appears that he will have his hands full on First Take debating with an NFL Hall of Fame member. In a report by Yahoo! Sports, Smith could be joined by former Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver Michael Irvin.
Front Office Sports’ Michael McCarthy reported on Tuesday that ESPN is “considering bringing on Michael Irvin” and is engaged in talks with the Hall of Fame receiver that are “not finalized.” If talks bear fruit, Irvin would join Smith once a week on Mondays to presumably shout about the previous day’s NFL happenings.
Irvin is no stranger to TV as he’s been one of the lead analysts of the NFL Network. His flamboyant and polarizing takes would be perfect for Smith, who hasn’t seen a debate he didn’t like. At face value, their partnership could work, but of course, Irvin will have big shoes to fill, as Smith and his former co-host Max Kellerman have developed credible rappor despite their differences.
The 55-year-old Irvin should also feel comfortable with ESPN, being a former part of Sunday Countdown. Getting him, however, is only one part of the puzzle for Smith and the First Take producers.
If the two sides reach an agreement, ESPN would still need to find sparring partners for Smith the rest of the week. Per McCarthy, candidates include Marcus Spears, Keyshawn Johnson, and Jay Williams, all of whom already work for the network.
Michael Irvin is a three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl member. But for sure, Stephen A. Smith won’t care.