Following his notable absence from last season's Super Bowl, longtime NBC personality Bob Costas appears to be looking for an exit after nearly 40 years as the network's most-prominent sports broadcaster.
A source confirmed a report from the New York Post's Andrew Marchand that Costas and NBC are in discussions for an early exit from a multi-million dollar contract that runs through 2021.
The move doesn't come as much of a surprise. After stepping down from his prime-time hosting role for the 2018 Olympics and being replaced during the network's coverage of Super Bowl LII by Liam McHugh, NBC has hardly turned to Costas on air over the past year outside of brief appearances during Triple Crown coverage.
NBC declined to comment about the negotiations. Costas couldn't immediately be reached but told Marchand he was interested in doing a show that would take a critical look at sports and other topics.
"Sometimes you get to a point where it is not a fit anymore," Costas said. "It doesn't mean that anyone is angry or upset."
Costas has had a strained relationship with football after having become an outspoken critic over the NFL's response to concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (often referred to as CTE), a neurological disease caused by repetitive brain trauma.
Back in November, Costas made headlines when he suggested that the league could collapse if new technology isn't developed to make the sport safer and that the NFL's apparent delaying tactic of continuing to study the dangers of football will end up only hurting the league more.
"The whole thing could collapse like a house of cards if people actually begin connecting the dots," Costas said.
In an era in which the NFL is trying to avoid political controversy over the issue of protests during the national anthem, Costas has always been willing to take the intersections of sports and politics head-on. Over the years, he's used his prominent platform on NBC to discuss controversial issues ranging from gun violence to the racist nature of the "Redskins."