ESPN Reportedly Offered Skip Bayless Between ‘$26.5M & $31M’ To Reunite With Stephen A. Smith

ESPN knew they made a huge mistake by letting Skip Bayless go to a competitor years ago, so they tried to correct it.

The worldwide leader in sports tried and failed to reunite Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, the New York Post reports.

Smith was said to be the driving force to get Bayless back on board, and those negotiations lasted months. ESPN reportedly offered Bayless a four-year, $30 million contract in August, however, other sources have stated the figure was as low as $26.5 million and as high as $31 million.

Bayless, instead, signed a new four-year, $32 million deal with Fox Sports.

The duo of Smith and Bayless worked alongside each other on ESPN’s First Take until Bayless’ departure in 2016.

“Stephen A Smith is even more of a brother to me than my real brother,” Bayless said in a statement shared with the New York Post. “I love the man, as you know, on and off the air. Since I left ‘First Take’ for ‘Undisputed’ back in June of 2016, Stephen A. and I have remained in close touch.”

In 2016, Bayless signed a four-year contract with Fox Sports, and he’s been with the network ever since.