CBS’ The NFL Today Cast: Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms Out, Matt Ryan In

Following his official retirement, Matt Ryan is joining CBS' NFL pre-game show while Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms won't be returning.

CBS’ longtime NFL pre-game show, The NFL Today, will look much different this upcoming season. Two longtime analysts are out, and a former NFL MVP will be joining the crew. Here is more information on CBS’ announcement regarding these changes.

CBS NFL Today Undergoes Major Change

On Monday, CBS announced that Matt Ryan will join The NFL Today team alongside James Brown, Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher, and JJ Watt. His arrival also means longtime NFL analysts Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason will depart after lengthy and legendary careers with CBS Sports.

Ryan spent 15 seasons in the NFL, primarily with the Atlanta Falcons. He won NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2016, in addition to NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008 and four Pro Bowls. He was also a one-time first-team All-Pro. Ryan spent the final year of his career with the Indianapolis Colts in 2022.

Although he officially retired last week, Ryan began his media career last season, joining CBS Sports as an NFL game analyst and appeared in studio during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. He was also a studio analyst across CBS Sports platforms.

“Matt had an outstanding first year at CBS Sports, excelling as both a studio and game analyst,” said David Berson, President and CEO of CBS Sports.

“He is the consummate team player and a Hall of Fame person. We love the chemistry he has with the studio crew and we’re excited to see him entertain NFL fans and share his passion, insight and perspective alongside JB, Nate, Coach and JJ.”

“I grew up watching The NFL Today so I’m honored to join this iconic show and hope to continue the high standard set by Phil, Boomer and others before me,” said Ryan. “I am thankful for this exciting new opportunity and can’t wait to get started with my new teammates.”

In terms of Esiason and Simms leaving, it will end what was more than two decades of work. “Phil and Boomer set the standard of excellence for NFL analysts,” said Berson.

Who Is Boomer Esiason?

Prior to his media career, Esiason was an NFL quarterback for 14 seasons, primarily with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played from 1984 until 1997 after being a second-round pick in the 1984 NFL Draft. Esiason won MVP in 1988 and was a four-time Pro Bowler, one-time first-team All-Pro, and NFL Man of the Year.

In 2023, Esiason landed in the Bengals’ Ring of Honor. He was also inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame with the class of 1990. In 2004, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame.

After his retirement, Esiason went into broadcasting full-time. He started as a color commentator for ABC’s Monday Night Football from 1998 to 1999 but was dismissed due to personal conflicts between him and Al Michaels.

Esiason eventually joined The NFL Today, serving as the show’s longest-tenured analyst. He will remain part of the CBS family, as the Boomer and Gio Show on WFAN also airs on CBS Sports Network.

On Monday, Boomer announced that he signed an extension to remain with the New York-based sports talk radio station. In his announcement, he also confirmed that he would be stepping away from The NFL Today.

Who Is Phil Simms?

Simms was also a former NFL quarterback for 15 years before broadcasting. He spent his entire career with the New York Giants from 1979-1993 after being taken seventh overall in the 1979 NFL Draft.

Simms was a two-time Super Bowl champion, two-time Pro Bowler, and one-time Super Bowl MVP and NFL Man of the Year.

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Simms had his jersey No. 11 retired and was inducted into the New York Giants Ring of Honor. He holds the NFL records for the highest completion percentage in a Super Bowl (88%) as well as the highest passer rating in a Super Bowl (150.9).

For nearly 20 years, Simms served as lead game analyst before he transitioned to the studio with The NFL Today. He first joined ESPN, then went on to join NBC’s lead broadcast crew after his retirement in 1994.

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