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Esiason, Simms out, Matt Ryan in as CBS recalibrates 'NFL Today' pregame show

Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will join the in-studio cast of CBS Sports' "The NFL Today" pre-game show next season as longtime analysts Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason were let go. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan will join the in-studio cast of CBS Sports' "The NFL Today" pre-game show next season as longtime analysts Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason were let go. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

April 29 (UPI) -- Former NFL quarterbacks Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason have been punted from CBS Television's NFL Today pregame show while another ex-signal caller, Matt Ryan, is joining the team, the network announced Monday.

Ryan, the 2016 NFL Most Valuable Player and a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback, will join James Brown, Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher and JJ Watt as an in-studio analyst beginning next season, CBS Sports President and CEO David Berson said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, Simms and Esiason are departing the show after "legendary careers at CBS Sports," he said.

Ryan served an apprenticeship last season, appearing as a game analyst and in the studio during the playoffs and Super Bowl LVIII. He officially announced his retirement from the NFL last week after a stellar 15-year pro career, all but one of which with the Atlanta Falcons.

"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," Ryan said. "I am thankful for this exciting new opportunity and can't wait to get started with my new teammates."

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The network praised the contributions of Simms and Esiason.

"For more than two decades, Simms and Esiason were integral to the success of the NFL on CBS," Berson said, describing Simms as "one of the greatest analysts in the history of the NFL" over the course of his decades-long career with the network.

"Great 26 yrs run with CBS SPORTS," Simms said in a post on X. "Even though that part of my career is over I look forward to what is next..."

Esiason, meanwhile, spent 22 years on the show and indicated Monday he will continue his broadcasting career with New York's WFAN Radio, where he has signed a contract extending his 20-year run as the station's morning drive-time host.

"I am stepping away from the NFL Today....I really thought the Super Bowl was my swan song," Esiason said on WFAN Monday. "I feel like the way CBS handled us guys out there in Las Vegas, it was amazing.

"It's been an unbelievable run for me. I feel so grateful and privileged to be there for 22 years," he added.

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