After several years on CBS' NFL pregame show, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe will both be leaving the panel of experts. As former NFL stars themselves, they always had a lot to say about the game.
They will not return in the 2014-2015 season, and they will be replaced by only one person, Tony Gonzalez. It did not take Gonzalez long to find a new job, and the veteran tight end will join a panel that now consists of Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason, and is hosted by James Brown.
Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe were both longtime analysts on the CBS' The NFL Today pregame show, and in their absence, the network has decided to go with someone younger–hoping to appeal to the current state of the league. Marino had spent 13 years on the show, while Sharpe had been on for the past 10.
A statement from CBS chief Sean McManus in regards to their departure read "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."
CBS got rid of Shannon Sharpe AND Dan Marino?! Well done, CBS...well done indeed
— igglephile (@igglephile) February 19, 2014
Tony Gonzalez will be a fresh face for the network after officially retiring just last month. It was previously reported that he would be playing his last game at the end of last season–of course it is never official until it actually happened. He had previously made statements that indicated retirement in recent years, and not followed through with it.
He played in the league for 17 seasons, and is the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns and yards for a tight end. Speaking on his decision to become an analyst, he said "About three years ago I started to think more about retirement and I started to do more television and I said to myself: ‘This is fun.’ What a great way for me to stay connected to the game and give back to the game.”
The younger Tony Gonzalez, who spent several seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons, will be an interesting transition for CBS' show that has been hosted by Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe for such a long time. Their contracts were up, and CBS has recently fallen short to FOX in terms of ratings. The network hopes that Tony Gonzalez can change that.
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