Sep 25, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Boomer Esiason, former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, waives before being announced at halftime as a Bengals Ring of Champions inductee at halftime of the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams at Paycor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Albert Cesare-USA TODAY Sports

Boomer Esiason’s run on The NFL Today on CBS is over as of this week, but it appears the move was a long time coming on his end.

Esiason, who will continue to host Boomer & Gio in New York City on WFAN and CBS Sports Network, said in an interview on the Stupodity podcast that he was seeking a better work-life balance and the decision to leave was his.

“I was more than happy to step aside. I enjoyed my time there,” Esiason told host Jon “Stugotz” Weiner. “I loved that seat. I cherished that seat, I cherished talking to football fans every Sunday, but there comes a time when you have to find some time for yourself. And this was the right time.”

After Stugotz asked Esiason whether he would have returned to CBS if they wanted him, Esiason said he would have only returned for a max of one more year. He was ready to be done.

“When Sean McManus, who did hire me back in 2022, announced his retirement as CBS Sports chairman, I felt like it was a natural thing,” Esiason explained. “I wanted to say something at the Super Bowl, I didn’t think it was appropriate. I knew that Phil (Simms) did not want to retire from this particular show, I was ready. Twenty-two years, I have not had a weekend in 40 years … for me, it’s been a great run.”

Simms was let go this week alongside Esiason’s departure.

Esiason’s departure from CBS coincided with an extension on his deal to do the radio show.

As he looks back at his time at CBS, Esiason appreciates the megaphone he held broadcasting the NFL for two decades and the freedom he had to express his opinions.

“Not one person at CBS, not one boss, not one producer, not one director ever came to me and said, ‘Maybe you should back off with that kind of criticism,'” Esiason added. “I’ve had a number of controversial topics that we had to deal with in the NFL over the last 20 years. So I loved my time there, I have no ill will toward anybody.”

This fall, J.J. Watt and Matt Ryan will join The NFL Today in place of Simms and Esiason, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of the show.


About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.