Tony Gonzalez in, Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe out at CBS


Roger Goodell and Tony Gonzalez at a pre-Super Bowl event last month.  (Adam Hunger / AP Images for NFL)

CBS has shaken up its “NFL Today” pregame show, announcing that Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe are out and Tony Gonzalez, the tight end who recently retired from the Atlanta Falcons, is in.

Gonzalez will join James Brown, Boomer Esiason and Bill Cowher on the telecast as well as working on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” and CBS’s “That Other Pregame Show.”

“When you are playing, at least for me the way I approached it, I wasn’t going to be that player calling people out,” Gonzalez told Richard Deitsch of SI.com. “Not really calling people out, but more telling the whole truth. Because I don’t believe in that while you are playing; it just doesn’t make sense because we are in that fraternity. But now that I am done, I am going to say exactly what is on my mind. I’m not there to go out and kill players, but if I believe something is true, I am going to say it and not hold back on it. It’s an opportunity to really speak up on issues and I’m going to be as fair as possible and hopefully make some good points people are interested in hearing.”

Gonzalez, charismatic and photogenic, was destined for a TV slot once he decided to finally end his football end and CBS ended up the winner in the battle to land him. CBS opted not to renew the contracts for Marino, who had been with the network 12 years, and Sharpe, who had been with the Eye for 10. McManus told John Ourand of Sports Business Daily that the network is in the process of hiring another analyst, but is not ready to announce it yet.

“I’m grateful I had 10 great years,” Sharpe said (via TMZ). “… They’ve been great to me.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · February 18, 2014

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