Matt Ryan replaces Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms on 'The NFL Today'


Matt Ryan is in.

Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms are out.

CBS is replacing two former quarterbacks with one recently retired as analysts on its “The NFL Today” studio show on Sundays this fall, the network announced Monday. Ryan will join a cast that includes host James Brown and analysts Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson and JJ Watt, all returning from last season.

Watt turned to X to congratulate his colleagues, both coming and going.

“Phil and Boom are absolute legends of the game and we will certainly miss them,” wrote Watt, who joined the studio team in 2023. “I am so grateful for their kindness and support last season. The real professionals. Welcome aboard @M_Ryan02!”

Ryan, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2016 and led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl that season, where they lost to the New England Patriots in overtime after leading 28-3 in the third quarter. Ryan played 14 of his 15 seasons with the Falcons and retired last week after not playing during the 2023 season. He worked for CBS last year, serving as a game analyst during the regular season and working in the studio during the postseason.

“I grew up watching 'The NFL Today,' so I'm honored to join this iconic show and look forward to continuing the high standard set by Phil, Boomer and others before me,” Ryan, 38, said in a statement. published Monday by CBS. Sports.

CBS Sports Chairman and CEO David Benson said of Ryan in the statement: “We love the chemistry he has with the studio team and are excited to see him entertain NFL fans and share his passion, knowledge and perspective alongside JB, Nate, Coach and JJ.”

Like Ryan, Esiason is a former NFL MVP (1988), who made four Pro Bowls and lost a Super Bowl in heartbreaking fashion, watching from the Cincinnati Bengals sideline as Joe Montana led the San Francisco 49ers to victory with a legendary drive in the final. 3 minutes 20 seconds of Super Bowl XXIII. After retiring in 1997, Esiason spent two years as a color analyst on “Monday Night Football” before landing at “The NFL Today,” where he remained for the next 22 years.

Esiason, 63, announced his departure from the CBS show on Monday during the New York sports radio show he hosts with Gregg Giannotti, saying the decision was “more his decision than maybe mine.”

Esiason feels “grateful and privileged” to have had such a long run on the show and said the show’s producers “always allowed me to say what I wanted to say. They never told me what to say, no matter how controversial the topic, just 'Be you and say what you want to say', and they never took that away from me. And I can't say enough about that.”

And he added: “I'm happy to have my weekends back. “I haven’t really had extended weekends in about 40 years, if you think about it.”

Simms, 68, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and led the New York Giants to victory in Super Bowl XXI, in which he was named the game's MVP, and Super Bowl XXV. He turned to broadcasting after retiring from football in 1993 and spent the last 26 years at CBS Sports, serving as a lead game analyst for nearly two decades before moving to the studio in 2017.

“Great 26-year career with CBS SPORTS,” Simms posted on X Monday. “Even though that part of my career is over, I'm looking forward to what's next.”

Benson said in his statement: “Phil and Boomer set the standard of excellence for NFL analysts. We are so grateful for his immeasurable contributions to CBS Sports. We truly thank them for being incredible teammates and for their passion, dedication and commitment to elevating CBS Sports' NFL coverage each season.”

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