UPDATE: Sports Business Daily reported that Romo is joining CBS. According to Adam Schefter, he will be replacing Phil Simms as the No. 1 color analyst with Jim Nantz. Getting that prime position right after retriement may put a damper on the back to the NFL rumors.
Tony Romo is retiring, according to ESPN, and his market to move into the broadcast booth is just as hot as it would be as a free agent quarterback. While the pay won’t be the same as one year at quarterback, it cannot be unappealing to collect several million a year while not risking your collarbone, if you are Romo.
The rumors of a potential alternate path to the booth started immediately, particularly in light of John Lynch’s move from being on the #2 Fox broadcast team to the 49ers GM position.
According to ESPN, “Romo has received interest from CBS, Fox, and NBC, and can choose to be a color commentator where he wants. That move could come as early as Tuesday, sources said.”
So let’s break this down. Fox, of course, has the opening with Lynch’s move. That’s an attractive spot but long-term, you still have Aikman in the prime color commentator position, and the chances for advancement are limited.
NBC would seem to also be limited unless (a) he wanted to just work the SNF studio show, (b) they replace Cris Collinsworth, which seems less likely, or (c) they pay Tony Romo a bunch of money to join Mike Tirico in the best booth not calling games and covering obscure Winter Olympics events.
And that leaves CBS. Both CBS and Fox will have openings that they will create for someone like Romo to entice him, in the broadcast booth. But, CBS can also reasonably dangle the #1 booth opposite Jim Nantz, replacing Phil Simms in that role. Simms is 62 years old, and I think it’s fair to say we’ve all “talked about” his much-maligned and frequently entertaining commentary.
There are too many head-scratching moments when it comes to Phil Simms in the booth. The account @PhilSimmsQuotes, which provides in-game actual quotes from Simms, will be the most affected if there is a move.
Here are some from just the playoff games Simms called last year:
- “When you #talkedabout Bell when you #talkedabout Roethlisberger.”
- “I know Brock Osweiler is not Tom Brady.”
- “I’m pretty sure they are going to go for the touchdown here.” It was 3rd and goal at the 1.
- “I can’t blame Matt Moore. If it wasn’t for that INT and two fumbles, he’s had a perfect game!”
- “Shazier he’s not one of the fastest guys, but… he’s… definitely one of the fastest.”
- “This pass caught them off guard! Well, it didn’t catch them off guard.”
It’s also the subtle ones, like a few years ago, when he declared that “fullbacks are really the new trend in the NFL right now.” (Fullbacks have been a thing forever, and are used way less now). Then, there are the unintentional references to make Rob Gronkowski happy.
One could understand why CBS would be hot after Tony Romo to replace Simms long-term. If Romo is really considering the booth, it would be his best chance to move into a prime position long-term. That said, in an odd way, we’ll miss Simms and his baffling statements if it happens.