Updated: Feb. 18, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
Original: Feb. 18, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Newly retired NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez will replace Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe on “The NFL Today” on CBS, the network’s chairman, Sean McManus, announced on Tuesday.
Gonzalez, who played an astounding 17 seasons (between the Chiefs and Falcons), steps into the television studio along with James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason to form CBS’s new Sunday crew.
Marino and Sharpe, who have been on the broadcast for more than a decade, will be pursuing “other professional opportunities,” CBS says.
Gonzalez will contribute to the network in various capacities, the network notes, including Inside The NFL on Showtime, CBS Sports Network’s Sunday pre-game show, and That Other Pregame Show (TOPS).
“I think he’s gonna be good,” said Richard Deitsch, who covers media for Sports Illustrated and says he spoke with Gonzalez just minutes before. “Every time I’ve seen him interviewed, he’s bright, he’s smart, he’s thoughtful and one of the things we talked about, as an ex-player, how critical can you be of people you played with, coaches you played for?”
“I think he’s a smart guy who’s gonna work hard, so I think it’s an immediate upgrade,” he said.
“I’m not surprised that Marino’s gone, by any means,” Deitsch said. “I think he’s always been kind of a vanilla analyst and I think once the contract was up, I think the handwriting was on the wall.”
“I’m a little surprised at Shannon Sharpe. I thought he had a good year last year,” Deitsch said. “He’s always been the one guy on the CBS set, whether you like him or not, who adds a little bit of juice to the conversation.”
CBS may be looking to hire one more seat on The NFL Today desk, as John Ourand has reported for Sports Business Journal.
“Sean McManus says CBS is close to hiring one more NFL pregame analyst, but the deal isn’t done yet,” Ourand wrote on Twitter.
106.7 The Fan’s Lavar Arrington says he is meeting with CBS Sports later this week, although he would not specify the purpose for his visit.
For clarity, “meeting with” does not mean “leaving for.” It doesn’t really mean anything, truthfully, until it does … or doesn’t.
Richard Deitsch’s reaction: