Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has been hired by CBS to serve as a studio analyst. He will join James Brown, Bill Cowher and Boomer Esiason on The NFL Today. In a related announcement, CBS has let go of both Shannon Sharpe and Dan Marino.
"Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective," said CBS in a press release. "As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers." Gonzalez will contribute on The NFL Today, Inside the NFL and That Other Pregame Show.
Gonzalez retired after a stellar career that will surely put him in the Hall of Fame, so it seems only fitting that he replaces Sharpe, another ground-breaking tight end. CBS indicated earlier that they'd like to shake up their pregame show format, and this is a fairly big change in the studio. Sharpe and Marino have both been with CBS for more than a decade.
This announcement also marks an official end to Gonzalez's playing days after he hinted at coming back with a team that is in contention to win a championship next season. The Falcons still hold his rights for the 2014 season.