ESPN is reportedly looking to lure Peyton Manning onto the Monday Night Football broadcast team after Jason Witten announced last week that he'd be returning to the Dallas Cowboys.

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN is prepared to make the "requisite inquiry" regarding Manning's availability, and they're reportedly willing to pay more than the $6.5 million paid to Jon Gruden in the past.

According to OddsShark, Manning is the favorite to join Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast. However, Marchand writes, "the expectation is Manning will stay on the sidelines."

Other potential candidate to replace Witten include Louis Riddick, Greg Olsen, Kurt Warner, and Matt Hasselbeck.

Witten, 36, will be returning to the Dallas Cowboys, who retained his rights when he was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Retired list.

He spent his entire 15-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys after being selected in the third round out of Tennessee in the 2003 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games during his rookie season and has started all 16 games for every season after that.

In a statement released by the Cowboys last Thursday, Witten explained:

“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” Witten said in a statement. “This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”

Over the course of his career, Witten set Cowboys franchise records in receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448), in addition to becoming one of the greatest players at his position in league history. Only Tony Gonzalez has more receptions and yards at the tight end position.