Rick Reilly by Jason Nevader/WireImage.com
In what can be best described as a media trade-off, Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly has jumped to ESPN, perhaps as a direct response to SI's hiring of former SportsCenter anchor Dan Patrick last week.

According to the sports network, Reilly will take his popular back-page column to ESPN: The Magazine and ESPN.com, while also contributing to short television essays and interviews.

"I'm thrilled, this is an itch I'd love to scratch," Reilly said in a conference call with the media today. "I want to take my voice to a different place, and I'm hoping to bring well-written essays to TV."

Reilly was mum about the hiring of Patrick, however, insisting the moves were purely coincidental and that he wishes Patrick the best of luck. Patrick was hired by Sports Illustrated to contribute a weekly column and provide a platform for his radio show on SI.com. - Reporting by Rob Moynihan

UPDATE: The New York Post reports that ESPN snagged Reilly with a mind-boggling five-year, $10 million contract.

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Edited by Rich Sands at 10/24/2007 10:19 AM