CBS has added another NFL quarterback to their broadcasting lineup. The network announced Monday that Matt Ryan will be joining their NFL coverage. As per a CBS release, Ryan will appear as an analyst for select games and many of their different studio shows:
Matt Ryan joins CBS Sports as an NFL analyst.
Welcome to the team, @M_Ryan02!
Release: https://t.co/QsAInddV4d pic.twitter.com/P2pX8LK6RC
— CBS Sports PR (@CBSSportsGang) May 15, 2023
Here’s more from that release:
Ryan will serve as an analyst for select NFL ON CBS games and also provide analysis for THE NFL TODAY, THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW (TOPS), NFL MONDAY QB as well as CBS Sports HQ.
“As one of the NFL’s marquee quarterbacks for the past 15 years, we’re thrilled to add Matt to our talented roster of NFL analysts,” said [CBS Sports executive producer and executive vice president of production Harold] Bryant. “He has played the game at the highest level, including winning an MVP award and taking his team to the Super Bowl, and will bring a fresh perspective to CBS Sports. We look forward to Matt sharing his knowledge, insight and opinions with our viewers and bolstering our NFL coverage.”
“It is truly an honor to join this exceptional team at CBS Sports,” said Ryan. “I have been blessed to have incredible teammates throughout my career and I am fortunate that will continue here working with and learning from the very best in the industry.”
Interestingly enough, that release does not include mention of Ryan retiring, stating only that “Ryan, who has played 15 NFL seasons with the Falcons and Indianapolis Colts, ranks in the Top 10 in NFL history in passing yards (62,792), touchdowns (381), completions (5,551) and attempts (8,464).” And he also tweeted that “this is not a retirement post,” adding a wink:
Excited to join the @NFLonCBS family! Looking forward to breaking down the game this season.
P.S. – this is not a retirement post ? pic.twitter.com/4fCTVpFxK0
— Matt Ryan (@M_Ryan02) May 15, 2023
The 37-year-old Ryan is not currently with a NFL team. The Colts released him in March following one season with the franchise, which came after he spent 14 years with the Falcons. His lone season in Indianapolis saw him put up 3,057 passing yards with 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a 67.0 percent completion mark.
There haven’t been a lot of reports of other teams looking to bring Ryan in. So his career as a NFL player may in fact be done. And perhaps that wink is just an indication that he is preparing a different retirement announcement, maybe involving a one-day contract with the Falcons or something of that nature. But there are constantly reports of NFL teams reaching out to veteran players following injuries, even those who haven’t played in much longer, and sometimes even those who have officially retired. So it is possible that Ryan could still wind up playing again despite this announcement.
If Ryan did wind up playing again somehow, it seems unlikely he would be able to balance that with CBS work. We have seen active players occasionally broadcasting games while injured or for postseason games they’re not involved in, perhaps most notably Greg Olsen (before he retired and joined Fox full-time). And we have seen active players contributing to studio coverage, including Brandon Marshall (before his own retirement) and Chase Daniel. But both the Olsen and Marshall situations came with some criticism, with an opposing GM upset Olsen was allowed to sit in on broadcaster meetings with teams, and with Marshall saying he believes his in-season TV work was why the Chicago Bears traded him.
If Ryan wound up signing with a team as a starter, continuing with TV work would seem difficult to impossible for him. The load on a starting NFL quarterback is high, as is the media pressure. There’s a chance Ryan could possibly continue with some level of TV work if he signed somewhere as a veteran backup, as Daniel has managed to pull that off. But even that would likely come with a reduced media workload compared to what’s discussed in this announcement, with the games in particular and the Sunday pregame shows likely impossible apart from byes. So it looks like the most reasonable outcome here is that Ryan is now fully a broadcaster. But the “This is not a retirement post” language from him is certainly interesting.
[Paramount Press Express; photo of Ryan with the Colts in January from Jenna Watson/USA Today Sports]