James Brown on Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms’ ‘NFL Today’ exits

CBS studio host James Brown recently expressed his disappointment over the surprise departures of colleagues Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms last month on “NFL Today.”

Appearing on the Sports Business Radio podcast this week, Brown said he was “sad” about the changes to the CBS program that included the addition of former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Texans legend J.J. Watt. Told.

“As you know, it’s family.” brown said. “It would be disingenuous to say there wasn’t some kind of disappointment because[Sims and Esiason]have been family for decades. Literally, just a few decades. Boomer and I worked together for a long time. They They’re hardworking people.”

James Brown was disappointed in the change at CBS that removed Boomer Esiason and Phil Sims from studio programming. getty
Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms in November 2021. Breitling Getty Images

Mr. Brown is the longest-serving member of the network, having joined CBS in 1984, while Mr. Sims joined the network as chief analyst in 1998. Mr. Esiason joined the company in 2002.

“Phil Sims, there’s no one on TV or radio who works harder than Phil. He knows the game. He’s the guy who’s out there, over and over again, whether it’s Michael Jordan on the court or whoever he is. is an expression we use when we see someone who loves to practice. He’s a gym rat. Boomer covers all sports. He loves it. It’s his life. Brown said.

“So I’m saying there’s a sadness there because they were teammates. But we’re also adults. We’ve all been around the sport longer than me. And that’s the business. We understand that it is part of

Rumors of a reorganization were first reported in January by Andrew Marchand, formerly of the Post, with Sims’ contract expiring after CBS’ broadcast of the 2024 Super Bowl in February.

The former Giants QB (68) said at the time, “I don’t know what will happen if I don’t go back to CBS.” But I’m definitely going to continue working with or in the NFL somewhere, somehow, whatever it is. However, I don’t just say, “Okay, it’s over.” I’m already retired. ”

Brown said during an appearance on his podcast that he reached out to Ryan, 39, to welcome him to the team, calling him a “gift of business and sports knowledge.”

He also spoke of his strong relationship with Watt, 35.

Phil Sims, James Brown, Bill Cowher, Nate Burleson, JJ Watt and Boomer Esiason appear on the NFL TODAY set for the final time on February 11, 2024. CBS (via Getty Images)

“I did it last year with J.J. Watt. You know, he’s – and I’m not saying this to be cocky – he’s at that level as a premier player and as a lover of this sport, so he’s confident. And as a teammate, he knows how to motivate his teammates,” Brown said.

“So we want to bring in a few people who are eager to succeed and have meetings and get to know each other so that the transition is as seamless and quick as possible. There’s nothing better than getting to know them, breaking bread and learning about your colleagues, so you know how to best play and how to set them up.”

James Brown (left) speaks to Tony Romo and Jim Nantz before the 2024 Super Bowl. CBS (via Getty Images)

Brown’s contract has expired His contract was extended beyond the end of the 2024 season, but he will remain with the team on a two-year contract extension.

The studio show will be hosted by former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former receiver Nate Burleson, who is expected to play a larger role going forward.