Former NFL MVP to Team with James Brown, Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher and JJ Watt

Longtime NFL Analysts Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason Depart THE NFL TODAY After Legendary Careers at CBS Sports


CBS Sports’ THE NFL TODAY will have a new look this fall as Matt Ryan, the 2016 NFL Most Valuable Player and a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, moves to the studio and joins James Brown, Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher and JJ Watt. The announcement was made today by David Berson, President and CEO, CBS Sports.

Ryan, who officially announced his retirement from the NFL last week, joined CBS Sports last season as an NFL game analyst and appeared in studio during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl LVIII. He also served as a studio analyst across CBS Sports platforms, including THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW (TOPS), NFL MONDAY QB and CBS Sports HQ.

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

Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason will depart the show after legendary careers with the Network. For more than two decades, Simms and Esiason were integral to the success of the NFL ON CBS. Simms served as lead game analyst for nearly 20 years before seamlessly transitioning to the studio. His unique style, strong opinions, unparalleled preparation and willingness to have fun with his teammates made him one of the greatest analysts in the history of the NFL.

Esiason’s analysis, experience and knowledge, coupled with his quick wit and distinct perspective, made him one of the best studio analysts for more than two decades, serving as THE NFL TODAY’s longest-tenured analyst. As Esiason steps aside from THE NFL TODAY, he will remain part of the CBS Sports family with the BOOMER AND GIO SHOW on CBS Sports Network.

“Phil and Boomer set the standard of excellence for NFL analysts,” added Berson. “We are so grateful for their immeasurable contributions to CBS Sports. We genuinely thank them for being incredible teammates and for their passion, dedication and commitment to elevating CBS Sports’ NFL coverage every season.”

Ryan is one of only five players in NFL history to pass for at least 60,000 yards and win an MVP. He played 15 NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts and ranks in the Top 10 in NFL history in passing yards (62,792), touchdowns (381), completions (5,551) and attempts (8,464). A first-round draft pick (No. 3 overall) by the Falcons out of Boston College in 2008, Ryan holds every significant franchise passing record, including yards, touchdowns, completions, attempts and passer rating. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and guided the Falcons to six playoff berths, including an NFC Championship and an appearance in Super Bowl LI.

THE NFL TODAY, CBS Sports’ NFL pregame show, debuted in 1975 and was the first live studio show to take viewers across the country, previewing and highlighting every game in the NFL. The show is currently hosted by James Brown with analysts Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher, Matt Ryan and JJ Watt as well as lead NFL insider Jonathan Jones. Drew Kaliski is the producer and Bob Matina serves as director. Harold Bryant is Executive Producer and Executive Vice President, Production, CBS Sports. Tyler Hale is Senior Vice President, Studio Production, CBS Sports.