Phil Simms may no longer be the the top NFL color analyst on CBS, but the longtime broadcaster and former Super Bowl champ isn’t ready to walk away from the game quite yet.
“I am not done,” the 62-year-old Simms texted New York Daily News reporter Gary Myers, his first response to Tuesday’s announcement that he was being replaced in the booth by retiring Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Simms is reportedly under contract for two more years at CBS, but his future role at the network remains unclear.
“We are discussing with Phil his future role with CBS Sports,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said earlier this week, and oddly ambiguously statement considering the praise he heaped on Simms just last September.
"I think Phil is vastly under-appreciated and part of that is the overreaction to social media," McManus said going into last season. "I would just suggest that if people listen to Jim and Phil with an open mind, I think they would recognize what a good job they are doing.”
If Simms remains at CBS, he’ll have to accept a demotion to a less-visible booth, calling games that are seen by just a fraction of the viewers he’s grown accustomed to as the network's top color analyst. Or Simms could fill a slot on CBS’s The NFL Today that has opened up, thanks to the departure of former Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez. But as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio notes, “if CBS and Simms wanted that, it presumably would have already happened.”
On his Bleacher Report podcast Simms & Lefkoe, Chris Simms critizicied CBS for the way it handled the transition from his father to Romo.
“I had to tell my dad first, before CBS or anybody,” Chris Simms said to co-host Adam Lefkoe “I mean, that’s just not what you do to a good, hard-working employee for 20 years.”
Late Friday, Chris Simms clarified his comments, noting that he was unaware that the network informed his father’s agent before announcing the change.
“I would like to set the record straight that I was not aware that Sean McManus had called my father’s agent, Steve Rosner, the day before the news broke to let him know that CBS was pursuing Tony Romo for the role of the lead color analyst for their NFL coverage,” Simms said in a statement shared on Twitter. “I’d like to apologize to CBS for this misunderstanding.”
However, Chris Simms didn’t apologize for criticizing CBS announcer Jim Nantz, who the former quarterback thinks “signed off” on the network's move to replace his father with Romo.
“I think that certainly a company like CBS is going to run this by Jim Nantz,” Chris Simms said. “I think he signed off on this to some degree.”
If Simms ends up leaving CBS, Myers speculates the former Giants quarterback could land on sports talk radio, where he could be paired with former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason on Sports Radio 66 WFAN in New York City. Simms and Esiason could fill the afternoon spot being vacated by the retiring Mike Francesca, allowing the station to potentially pair Craig Carton with his friend, aspiring sports talker Chris Christie.