Tony Gonzalez in, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe out at CBS

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Any thought that Tony Gonzalez might change his mind about retirement (again) can probably put to rest, as Gonzalez has a high-profile new job: CBS has announced that Gonzalez is joining its pregame show.

As part of the same announcement, CBS said Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe will no longer appear on The NFL Today. The new cast of the show will be James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Gonzalez.

“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports. While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade. Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

Gonzalez was the first-round draft pick of the Chiefs in 1997, and played in Kansas City for 11 years, then played five more years in Atlanta. Gonzalez was chosen to 14 Pro Bowls, tied for the most of any player in NFL history, and is the all-time record holder for touchdowns and yards by a tight end. Although he initially said he would retire after the 2012 season, he returned for 2013. From all indications he now really is retired and is ready to embark on a career in broadcasting.

192 responses to “Tony Gonzalez in, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe out at CBS

  1. NO ISSUES w/ Sharpe getting the boot. But the Marino move is a little odd. Maybe he wanted out…?

  2. I do not know how well Gonzalez will do, but I am glad Marino and Sharpe are gone. Their individual acts were wearing me out.

  3. What kind of insight will Tony bring?

    How to win one playoff game in your entire career?

    How to tell if your QB is elite?

    How to stop blocking yet play a position that requires blocking?

    How to be hispanic yet have the NFL promote Butt Fumble instead of you?

  4. These pregame shows have far too many ex-players just showing off their Super bowl and HOF rings. Give me former NFL personnel men who actually have something to say.

  5. Nothing against him personally, but unlike his brother Sterling, Shannon Sharpe simply doesn’t have the skill set to be in the broadcast booth. The only mystery here is why it took CBS years to remove someone who did the job so badly. But why ditch Marino? Nothing wrong with Dan’s performance.

  6. While releasing Sharpe was a huge step forward, CBS will still be going into next season as the absolute worst broadcast team covering the NFL, from the pregame show, through live game coverage, and the post-game show.

  7. I read that whole article about him in ESPN Mag, and he was very, very torn about retiring. He was agonizing over his decision, maybe by keeping his foot in the door in a different capacity, it will help. I doubt it though, playing the game is in the blood….

  8. .

    As a foursome they were the ensemble from hell. The sum total was worth less than the individual parts.


  9. i bet shannon sharpe is upset too bad we cant understand what he is saying.

    also how does Sterling Sharpe speak so clearly and Shannon sounds like a flat tire doing 75 mph.

  10. Sharpe will contribute the same amount to the pre-game show now as he did then seeing as you never understood one word he said.

  11. Tony will only show up if the CBS pregame show has a good record, and a shot at winning an Emmy.

  12. I seldom watched their show, preferring the guys on “another station”, and am also glad to see Sharpe go.

    But Danny? Not half bad. And the ladies STILL think he’s easy on the eyes, which is an important demographic for the NFL. Hmmm.

  13. I liked Dan Marino on camera. And I like “football” personalities like Ditka, Esiason, Long, and, yes, even the clown-like antics of Bradshaw. But the best analyst is Jackson on ESPN. He makes more sense out of football than any other; and he keeps the “Boomer” from falling flat on his face.

  14. Removing Shannon sharpe was an easy choice. When he would do play by play or color commentary for game clips, you could only make out every fifth word, and you’re replacing one TE with another. I don’t understand them firing Marino though if that is in fact the case. And I can’t really see him quitting either, seems like a pretty cushy well paying job.

  15. Thank God Marino is gone.
    He was so bitter whenever talking about QBs better than him or people with rings.
    Not to mention that the game has passed him by.

    Good riddance.

  16. Not gonna miss Sharpe in the least. Seemed to constantly call attention to himself every bit as much as the upcoming games. He’s as replaceable as it gets, IMO.

  17. Any chance the will replace Simms? I’ll be looking for radio broadcasts for Thurs nights now.

  18. Nothing wrong with slimming your pre-game show of talking heads down by one. And swapping Sharpe for a very affluent and easy to understand Gonzalez will be the biggest plus for CBS. A coach, a QB, and a newly retired minority player/future 1st ballot Hall of Famer. Sounds like a big win for CBS in the future.

  19. The entire CBS pre-game crew is horrible including James Brown. All he does is laugh at everything everyone says. I don’t think that man actually knows anything about football. I honestly don’t think he watches the games out of studio.

    Cowher still has Steeler pom poms and Boomer is a bitter decrepit curmudgeon because he never won a ring.

    The only worse pregame crew is the good ole boy poster boys for cronyism aaaw shucks lets toss the pig skin around crew at fox.

  20. TV execs FINALLY realized Shannon Sharpe is unintelligible? He’s been doing broadcasts with what seems like a pack of Bubblicious in his mouth for (what seems like) eons.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Next up: Steven A Smith and Stewart Scott, please.

  21. Slightly disappointed about Marino, but furious about Sharpe. He was not a good analyst, but now Jay Pharoah won’t be able to do his impression on SNL 🙁

  22. Great move, Sharpe sounded like he had peanut butter in his horsemouth when he spoke, could barely understand the guy.

    Marino is annoying too, best moment ever is when Boomer called Manning the Marino of his generation after Manning got beat by Brady in the playoffs. Marino looked like he was ready to explode.

  23. I really had no clue anyone even watched the network pre-game shows. Can someone explain why?? The ESPN and NFL Network shows are far, far superior productions.

  24. I hope Marino gets picked up by NFL Network and they get rid of Heath Evans! So glad to hear that Shannon is gone!!!! He is soooo full of himself.

  25. Crank up the rumors that Marino will have some type of front office role. Lord knows that they could use some positive press after the overblown bullying incident.

  26. Glad Shannon is gone….but Sterling is equally annoying in his own way…I can’t stand listening to him either.

  27. Well, hopefully that means a couple more guest appearances on ‘America Dad’ now that Shannon has more time. It’s a cartoon, so I’m sure they can find a way to bring the alien-chasing character back to life…But so glad he’s gone from CBS!

  28. For my taste, there was always too much gushing over Marino for his accomplishments and not enough balance about how he could not elevate his team to Super Bowl wins.

    In the NFL, you play to win it all. Individual stats are important, but never more important than winning it all, and Peyton Manning agrees with me.

  29. Dan Marino doesn’t make the NFL Mt Rushmore of QBs and now he doesn’t make the Mt Trashmore of CBS football announcers. Dumped for a newer future hall of famer.
    However, to some of us, Dan will always be the man.

  30. Most pre game shows are not very good. Way too Vanilla with very little style or substance. I hardly ever watch them. Sharpe had tons of personality but was very annoying. Marino is as bland as can be. Boomer is the same way. James Brown, Berman and Eisen are the 3 best hosts in the industry but even they have their flaws.

    You want great debate and expertise on these shows and you either get guys who are too bland or guys who are way over the top like Deion, Sapp or Irvin.

    The sports broadcasting industry is extremely weak and lacking in guys who make you care about the games and the league. The games really sell themselves.

  31. I won’t miss Shannon’s LISP! I always wanted to hear him say:

    Sally sold sea shells by the sea shore.

    Well I guess I still have Mike “Sufferin’ Succotash” Mayock.

  32. I’d like to see Bill Polian on the pregame. He has a lot of knowledge and insight. Way more than Ditka even when he’s awake. The game has passed him by.

  33. Serious question:Does James Brown wear a wig?Look at the separation of his forehead and his hairline and I swear I see glue

  34. I’m one of the few people who really liked Shannon Sharpe, but he wasn’t very good at this job. I hope he makes a guest appearance every now and then in the future.

    It will be interesting how Gonzalez does. CBS should might actually be bearable to watch this year. They just need to stop giving Simms the premiere games.

  35. I’m the biggest Marino “homer” but even I have to admit that he was as exciting to watch as watching paint dry. In fact I rather watch paint dry.

  36. Smart move getting rid of Mushmouth Sharpe. Now we just need to weed out Simms, Nantz, Sapp, Ditka, Kosar, Theismann, Larry Michael, Ronde Barber, Buck/Aikman/Oliver, Siragusa and Erin Andrews (except for the annual calendar shoot).

  37. This is a GREAT opportunity for Marino and for football fans everywhere. For the love of everything Holy, please please please fire Troy Aikman and bring in Marino. Aikman is the WORST on air personality in the world. I’d rather watch a blind Buddhist monk broadcasting goat herding than listen to another game where Troy Aikman is the color analyst. He is awful!

  38. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

    Can this old lame statement be any sillier. “Hey you’re fired but we’ll say nice things while security escorts you out the door.”

  39. Marino and Sharpe added little insight….and four is still too many to chatter…..Let Boomer riff and opine with his insights…..I expect Gonzalez to be milquetoast without insights, as he gently breaks bread.

  40. Painsyndicate: You noted above on 2/18 Buck & Aikmen are worthless….Hmmm….Which broadcasters DO you like?

    I’d suggest that those two add intrigue and drama with their style, with Aikmen OFTEN providing new, fresh details that are opinionated and un-watered thoughts.

    He’s better than anyone else I’ve heard and, in comparison to Simms obvious thoughts, a GREAT media person.

    Buck adds an iconic voice for me that makes watching Big Games a joy…..Few commentators create a scenario that feels “important” in terms of the tension. Buck does it.

  41. Haven’t watched a pre-game show in over 6 years. I swear it’s the key to enjoying the NFL. Just read websites and fantasy stuff before kickoff and then pop on the Redzone channel. No empty platitudes or false sincerity or mugging to the camera. Just football.

  42. I didn’t care for Sharpe either, but he’s still better than Irvin, Sanders, and Sapp. They are unwatchable. I also agree with whoever said Stuart Scott has to go. Between the jiving and that eyebrow I have to change the channel when he’s on.

  43. You hear this FOX???

    Time to make Gus Johnson/Charles Davis your lead broadcast team.

    Can Buck, Aikman, Moose & Goose, Jimmy “Enzyte” Johnson and Terry Bradshaw immediately!


  45. Do we really need more Boomer Esaison???

    I’d rather have Dan Marino say nothing and Shannon Sharpe go crazy than have a phony like Boomer on.

    CBS has more Boomer than ESPN has Stephen A Smith.

    No joke. His stupid radio show on TV, him on Westwood One, and this studio show that won’t get better with Gonzalez.

    FOX will always be better and it’s time to get rid of the people that don’t move needles while being jerky. Like the NFL, you can be a jerk as long as you help. Boomer is a jerk and phony that will never help shows get better ratings.

  46. James Brown is very good in his role as host. Cowher is as much of a mush-mouth as Sharpe was.

    I’m tired of having to wipe down my TV after steeler-boy finished spitting on it…

  47. An idiot and a mumble mouth leaving a show no one ever watches except maybe 5 minutes before the game. Good riddance and who cares?

  48. I like the move.

    I always watch CBS because FOX is a bunch of clowns and getting rid of Marino was a smart move. He was amazingly boring and brought little insight to viewers considering he was a NFL QB.

  49. FOX and the NFL network are both better then the CBS pregame show, But Dan is well liked and respected kind of odd he is out.

  50. Now…If we could only get STERLING Sharpe off the air. Dude has NO volume switch. Or Intelligence switch for that matter.

    Just yells every stupid thing that comes into his head.

  51. I have a feeling that the only way Cowher would go back to coaching is if he gets fired from CBS.

    Hopefully CBS would give him a heads up — say during the last half of the season —- so it will look like he wanted to go back to coaching and he has time to pick a good situation.

  52. Good move CBS.

    I had no idea what Shannon Sharpe was saying anyway. CBS needed to provide closed captioning when he spoke.

    Marino was way out dated and boring like most of the announcers offered. Fox needs to make changes too. Rotate these guys off after a while for crying out loud.

    I would like to hear former players that at least have played on the field with the current players not guys who played 30 years ago.

  53. Unscripted Shannon is really quite funny and able to come with interesting quips but as an analyst in a controlled studio setting he stinks.

  54. Obviously getting rid of Sharpe, who most people seem to concede was an embarrassment as an analyst was a no-brainer. But I like replacing Marino, as well. He was articulate — unlike Sharpe — but I always found him on the DULL side. Same with Esiason.

    FOX has a better show than CBS because it’s simply more interesting, and the personalities more colorful, Gonzalez seems to be a bright guy. If he can translate that into being interesting as well, like FOX’s retired jocks, the show will be better.

  55. i literally have been watching marion and sharpe on nfl today as long as i can remember. people may hate on sharpe but he brought a good balance to the show. its truly a new age

  56. I actually love Shannon Sharpe’s fresh approach – I find him playful, fun and often quite witty.

    Shannon works for me, and I’m no Broncos fan. I think the guy is fun, and a major breath of fresh air.

    As for Marino, he really didn’t add much — and he won’t be missed.

  57. Every Sunday during the CBS pre-game, halftime, and post game show, I had to call The President, and ask him to send out the National Guard, because Shannon Sharpe was literally KILLING the English Language on national television…..

  58. I like Dan Marino, but he was a little boring. As for Shannon Sharpe, I am so glad to see him removed. I could never understand him anyway. His voice and language was annoying!

  59. Hopefully it was sharpe’s incognito statements he recently made that got him off the air. Incognito should never play again? And pouncey and jerry out at least 6 gameS? Please.

  60. I’m surprised at how many commenters here have no qualms about mocking his speech impediment but I actually liked Shannon on the show. At least he brought some energy to the panel.

    I seem to be the only one who thinks that way, though .

  61. Whew!
    Adios Flabba-Jabba and low IQ’s.
    Now let’s get Fox to dump their whole clown round table, starting with James Brown and his need to bring his silly faith into every discussion.

  62. Those two were the only reason I would never, ever, watch the cbs pregame, or halftime show. I think I could muster trough Bevis and Butthead rather than those two. Good move!!

  63. Good luck to Tony, but if he isn’t busting the kind of jokes and charisma he was able to get off during the lineup introductions on Sunday night football. It will be a short time at CBS.

  64. Sharpe was ok, but Marino just lacked all emotion. I am so glad he is gone. CBS has the worst halftime crew and I hate how instead of showing us another game, they actually sometimes have us watch the crew watch the game. I’m like…WTH?!?!

  65. Congrats to Tony. The guy is a class act. Plus this hire got that egomaniac, Sharpe, off the air. Win win

  66. Simms should be the first to go. He never was any good on the field or in the booth. Next is Ailman with his nasally voice. That just grinds on you like scraping a fingernail on a chalk board.

  67. Awesome news. Gonzalez is a class act and speaks intelligently.
    Shannon Sharpe was arrogant and sounded like he had marbles in his mouth.
    The only good thing about Shannon was he made his brother Sterling seem almost listenable.
    I’m not a big fan of Cowher, either. Great coach, lousy studio guy.
    Marino seemed bored and you could tell he never liked Sharpe.
    Boomer needs to step it up, too. Maybe now he’ll be able to get a word in now that Sharpe isn’t there to interrupt him all the time.

  68. Rutt ro! These 2 guys unemployed with spare time on their hands spells trouble for women in their cities.

  69. please get rid of Bill Cowher while you’re at it. he’s awful.

    Boomer is good.

    James Brown is the KING!

    Fox needs to put Moss on full time. he is awesome and the guys love him.

  70. And I’ll continue to not watch the pre- or post-game shows on any network. They are all the same nonsense.

    I also prefer to mute the announcers. Joe Buck, Jim Nantz, Troy Aikman or Phil Simms don’t add anything to the game.

    Why these people think they are crucial to the “experience” of the game is beyond me. Same with the constant attention paid to Bob Costas and the Olympics. Who cares? Show some curling.

  71. Although Tony never won a Ring, he is THE BEST tight end to ever play the game. As a team sport THE BEST NFL TEAM has to have a few rings to be named that, but as an individual a player doesn’t. Shannon was never close to the best Tight end even though he ha d a ring, nor was he good at speaking publicly, Tony will do a great job.

  72. BuBye, CBS, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. Now I can choose between FOX, ESPN, and NFL Net. C’Ya, CBS!

  73. How can there be so much love for FOX here? Those clowns make football a joke. All they ever talk about is Jimmy’s hair, Bradshaws being dumb, whatever that so called comic does and enough FOX promos to sicken a goat. The only worthwhile contributor is Howie Long. At least he actually want’s to talk football when he can gets a chance.

    The worst is Jimmy Johnson, has he even watched a football game in 20 years?

  74. ctiggs says:
    Feb 18, 2014 12:46 PM

    Hey Shannon, i’ll out do you in this job as well.

    – Tony G

    ps. can you tell me what it’s like to win the superbowl, or even just one playoff game? and while you are here, can you show me how to block?

  75. I liked the CBS crew. The guys had chemistry and weren’t so polished as to be insufferable like so many ex-jocks on the air on the other stations. Nor were they loudmouthed blowhards like a few others – basically ESPN and NFL Network. Fox’s show is terribly produced and Kurt Mennifield can’t hold a candle to James Brown. Shannon was witty and didn’t come out of the same broadcaster mill that is bringing us so many sound-alike, over-serious, white, former players, and hootin n hollerin, black former players.

  76. Ya know as far as Im concerned….get rid of most….if not all of those fools. Dont stop with NFL pregame shows either…..purge ESPN as well…both TV & Radio.
    Most of those ESPN guys think they are just the funniest and most loved individuals on the face of God’s Green Earth.
    I listen to sports talk radio to get sports….not hear entirely unfunny men, try to be funny.
    I guess it’s the same with the NFL pregame guys….especially FOX.
    If they arent trying to be funny…..they spend their time trying to talk over ach other.
    Heck, there are a plethora of fans who know as much or more about the game….how bout hiring some of them to do pregame shows?

  77. Meh. Shannon never did add much to the show besides the occasional laugh. The one they should really get rid of is Boomer Esiason. He has the personality of a snail.

    At least we won’t have to look at Shannon’s ridiculous bow-ties.

    You know his ego has to be bruised getting replaced by the one tight end that broke any records he had, and that most people think was a lot better player than he was.

  78. Coming from an Atlanta fan, I hope Tony does well but the only guy I prefer listening to is Scott Hansen on NFL RedZone. He jumps in, catches the viewer up on the action during the cut-ins and lets the plays do the talking. Short and to the point.

  79. Ironically, Sterling Sharpe is my absolute favorite sports commentator, while Shannon was always the WORST ever imo. God he was horrible, unintelligent and hard to follow with nothing important to say ever.

    Sterling is the opposite and Marino was terrible as well. Good riddance. Whoever hired them initially should be fired. Terrible.

  80. Shannon Sharpe was terrible as an analyst; his takes usually lacked depth.
    Marino was there because he was Dan Marino. His takes also lacked depth but he was bland in addition to lacking depth. That’s death in TV-land.

  81. I have to yet see any sparkling analysis from any of the pre-game shows that an 11 year old wouldn’t be able to come up with. There are too many so called analysts, all trying to speak at once, awful. I never watch them, and this move isn’t going to change that.

  82. Its pretty obvious that CBS is paying Marino back for keeping his lovechild and subsequent hush money payments from them for 7 years…..Karma for Saint Marino

  83. I thought Shannon was the interesting one on CBS but now that he’s gone, I don’t have to ever have to watch the CBS pregame show. Fox pregame show is my favorite anyway. They are hilarious and not boring at all!

  84. Let’s face it, CBS seems to have panicked. They might as well have replaced the coach, too. AND Boomer. Clean house. But the problem is while Shannon was loud & controversial, he gave the show some POP amid the monotones of the others. Sharpe was CBS’ version of Bradshaw. Don’t fix what is not broken.

  85. I can see why Shannon Sharpe is gone. Marino on the other hand may have been too expensive to justify his ratings. I would imagine Boomer works for less. Those 2 talking heads put together were probably more expensive than Gonzalez is. Featuring Gonzalez may give them enough star power to make this move cost effective.

  86. I can’t help but wonder if Marino joining in the lawsuit against the NFL regarding the concussion issue has anything to do with his departure. Anyone know if Sharpe is also on the list of those suing?

  87. I personally liked Dan, but Shannon, all he needed was a little more etiquette and a better stylist. I am sad to see them gone. Now if CBS gets rid of that whiny, paunchy Charles Barkley come college basketball season, I will forgive them for giving Dam Merino the boot.

  88. You have got to be kidding me!! No Dan Marino!! The only reason I watched CBS was to see Dan Marino. Loved Dan! I’ll be watching the boys on Fox from now on.

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