The NFL Today has a long-standing tradition as a top source for NFL news. The show competes with Fox NFL Sunday and ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown for viewership. Hoping to achieve an advantage over the competition, CBS has hired Tony Gonzalez to the analyst cast.
Tony Gonzalez is arguably the most successful tight end in the history of the NFL. He is considered a future first-ballot Hall of Famer supported by record book stats. 254 games started over a 17-year career with the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons, 1,325 receptions totaling 15,127 yards and 111 touchdowns. Do those statistics sound historic? Well they should, he is number one in all time tight end NFL records for receptions, yards and TDs. No surprise CBS selected him as an analyst.
“We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports.”
Five spots are available at The NFL Today table so basic math solves at least one current analyst eliminated from discussion. CBS decided to axe not one but two ex-football player turned analysts after the Tony Gonzalez hiring. Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe are departing the show.
Sharpe is recognizing the detriment of age in the NFL industry. Gonzalez represents a younger generation in a perpetually changing football game. He is only eight years younger than Sharpe, but played for ten years after Sharpe’s retirement date. Since Sharpe’s retirement the tight end position has evolved from a predominately blocking position into receiving value equal to wide receivers.
“Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony Brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” quoted Sean McManus.
Not all tight ends receive positions in the analyst circle. A strive for greatness through a determined mentality of preparation and hard work is the reason he was coveted by CBS Sports immediately after finishing his professional career. He approached his collegiate career the same as his NFL career earning first-team All-American honors as a football player at UC-Berkeley to become a first round NFL draft pick in 1997.
Media has questioned Gonzalez’s decision to depart from the NFL as a player. His 2013 season with the Falcons could be regarded as the most success he has experienced since 2009. 16 games started, 83 receptions equaling 859 yards and 8 TDs would encourage a majority of NFL tight ends to continue earning millions of dollars in salary. On the rebuttal, understanding Gonzalez’s decision is not difficult when you consider his 37-year-old age in correlation with the concussions and repetitive ferocious hits that have become contagious in the NFL.
Gonzalez’s response to his NFL Career, “A lot of people are asking about that. This was it. I knew that going into it,” said Gonzalez. “I knew I wanted something in the television world.”
Gonzalez joins Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and James Brown on The NFL Today. The team will continue providing Sunday pre-game coverage at 12 pm EST each game day.
The NFL season begins again in September 2014, expect to see Gonzalez hired and prepared for the start of his new career with The NFL Today.
Editorial by Niles Olson