Monday, June 17, 2024

CBS makes major changes to ‘NFL Today’: Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason out

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CBS’s iconic NFL pregame show will have a much different look this fall with two familiar faces leaving the set.

The network announced Monday that 2016 league MVP Matt Ryan will be joining the cast of “The NFL Today,” while longtime veterans Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason will not be returning.

Ryan, who led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl in his MVP season, officially announced his retirement from the NFL last week. He joined CBS Sports last season as an NFL game analyst and appeared in studio during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

Simms’ departure marks the end of an era for him at CBS. The former New York Giants quarterback, 68, served as lead game analyst for nearly 20 years before transitioning to the studio and working alongside Esiason, former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, ex-wide receiver Nate Burleson and host James Brown.

Esiason, who played quarterback for 14 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, spent more than two decades on the “NFL Today” set, making him the show’s longest-tenured analyst.

“More their decision than maybe mine,” Esiason said on his New York radio show Monday morning. He will, however, continue his association with the network with the WFAN radio show also simulcast on the CBS Sports Network.

Both Esiason and Simms had their contracts expire after the Super Bowl. CBS chose not to renew them.

Ryan, 38, is one of only five players in NFL history to pass for at least 60,000 yards and win an MVP. He played 15 seasons with the Falcons and Indianapolis Colts from 2008-2022. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and led the Falcons to an NFC championship and an appearance in Super Bowl 51.

“I grew up watching the NFL Today so I’m honored to join this iconic show and hope to continue the high standard set by Phil, Boomer and others before me,” Ryan said in a news release from CBS. “I am thankful for this exciting new opportunity and can’t wait to get started with my new teammates.”

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