Starting next season, Tony Gonzalez will be the newest member of CBS’ The NFL Today pregame show, seemingly putting to rest any speculation of a possible comeback next season. If you happen to be a big fan of the analytical prowess of Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe, you are unfortunately out of luck as those two were released to make room for the former tight end.
Gonzalez will be joining James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason on a pregame show that was in desperate need of a shakeup. The show’s direct competitor, Fox NFL Sunday, has seen its viewership lead continue to grow over the last few years, and finished 39 percent higher than The NFL Today last season.
After letting go of Marino and Sharpe and hiring Gonzalez, CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus says that they are still looking for one more analyst to round out their desk.
As far as Gonzalez goes, it seems that he’s been expecting a transition to broadcasting for the last few seasons.
“It’s something that I didn’t want to do up until about three years ago,” Gonzalez said of broadcasting. “I started to think more about retirement and I started to do more television and I said to myself: ‘This is fun.’ What a great way for me to stay connected to the game and give back to the game.”
Upon retiring, it seems that nearly every station was making a run at nabbing the former tight end, but CBS, who’s been courting Gonzalez for over a year, came out on top.
Now, as Gonzalez embarks on his new career, he will be faced with the unique challenges of criticizing other NFL players, who may be former teammates or close friends. That being said, Gonzalez doesn’t foresee that to be a problem.
“Now that I’m done, I am going to say exactly what is on my mind,” said Gonzalez. “I’m not there to go out and kill players, but if I believe something is true, I am going to say it and not hold back on it.”
The 14-time pro bowler and future Hall of Famer is not only being counted on to express his opinions, but to help raise The NFL Today pregame show from the bottom to the top.
Like this? CLICK HERE to see who might be replacing Gonzalez at tight end next year.