CBS shakes up 'The NFL Today,' moving out Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms, adding Matt Ryan

Esiason had been on the pregame show for 22 years

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 15: Former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was part of the CBS broadcast team  for the week 6 NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Washington Commanders on October 15, 2023 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

CBS had been rumored to be looking at shaking up its "The NFL Today" pregame show. Now, the network is following through on making some changes.

Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms won't return to the show, reports The Athletic's Andrew Marchand. Another former NFL quarterback, Matt Ryan, will join the pregame panel of analysts Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson and J.J. Watt (on a part-time basis) with host James Brown.

Esiason, the former Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets quarterback, had been on "The NFL Today" for 22 years. He announced on his WFAN radio morning show on Monday that he wouldn't be back.

"I am stepping away from 'The NFL Today' on CBS," Esiason said, while also announcing that he signed an extension with WFAN. "More their decision than maybe mine, but I really thought the Super Bowl was my swan song and I thought the way CBS handled especially us guys out there in Las Vegas, it was amazing."

CBS' telecast for Super Bowl LVIII drew the highest rating ever for an American TV broadcast, averaging 123.4 million viewers across the network's platforms.

Simms, who won two Super Bowls as quarterback of the New York Giants, joined "The NFL Today" in 2017 after 13 years as CBS' top game analyst with announcer Jim Nantz. (Before that, he called games with Greg Gumbel for six seasons.)

The contracts for both Esiason and Simms had expired, while Burleson and Cowher are presumably being renewed.

Ryan joined CBS during the 2023-24 NFL season after being released by the Indianapolis Colts. The 15-year veteran (who played 14 seasons for the Atlanta Falcons) was open to continuing his playing career as he called game broadcasts with Andrew Catalon and Tiki Barber, but no team showed interest.

Last week, Ryan officially announced his retirement. Knowing that he was ready to be a full-time broadcaster likely compelled CBS to add him to "The NFL Today." With him, Burleson and Watt, the pregame show now has a younger look with analysts who also engage fans and viewers on social media.