Tony Gonzalez leaving CBS after three years

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If CBS wants to add Peyton Manning to the pregame studio show, it currently has a spot for him.

Via Richard Deitsch of SI.com, tight end Tony Gonzalez has left CBS after three years as a member of The NFL Today.

“I have had an incredible and rewarding three years at CBS and wish it could be more, but traveling to New York each week during the season is not what is best for my family at this time,” Gonzalez said in a statement provided by CBS to Deitsch. “While I hope to remain in broadcasting I will look to do so in the L.A. area. I can’t thank CBS enough for their support.”

If Gonzalez wants to remain in broadcasting in L.A., NFL Network makes plenty of sense — especially in light of the league-owned outlet’s affinity for gold jackets. Gonzalez will have one in two years.

And with Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin currently facing accusations that could (should) spark an internal investigation under the Personal Conduct Policy, a seat on the set of NFLN’s Sunday pregame show could be coming open, in time.

FOX also could make sense, if/when Michael Strahan ever decides to stop flying from New York to L.A. and back again for 17 weekends now that he’s a full-fledged member of Good Morning America.

At CBS, the question becomes who will replace Gonzalez. Maybe the real question should be whether to replace Gonzalez at all. With only an hour to review the Sunday slate of games and with ratings for the Sunday morning/afternoon pregame shows at all of the networks consistently shrinking, the right approach could be to stick with Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, and Bart Scott as the analysts with James Brown as the host.

Gonzalez may not be the only departure from CBS. Rumors swirled a year ago that the network’s intense pursuit of Manning caused resulted in potential changes to be tabled for a year.