Giants legend Phil Simms says departure from CBS ‘wasn’t a great surprise’ amid radio silence from network

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CBS announced last month that two former quarterbacks, Phil Simms and Boomer Esiason, will not return to the network for the 2024 NFL season.

Instead, Matt Ryan and J.J. Watt will be on as full-timers. Ryan called games for the network last year, while Watt made appearances throughout the 2023 season.

The New York Giants legend opened up about getting the boot, saying the writing seemed to be on the wall.

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Phil Simms broadcasting

“NFL Today” on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII. (Gail Schulman/CBS via Getty Images)

“It wasn’t a great surprise,” he admitted to Front Office Sports. “I knew there was probably going to be some change or thought there would be. So, I think that makes it a little easier. 

“Would I have liked to keep the job? Of course. I mean, damn. I didn’t like it — I loved it. Get to talk football and hang around and maybe when we go to commercial, you get to really say what you want to the guys that you’re working with, but in the meetings, everything. But it was a fun job, great job, and you just move on to something else now.”

Phil Simms attends event in New York City

Phil Simms attends the 2022 Paramount Upfront at 666 Madison Avenue on May 18, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

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How did Simms know there would be a change? Well, he says he had not heard from just about anybody from the network for “a couple months” post his contract expiring.

“Nobody asked me, talked to me or anything like that. I waited for I guess over a couple months to see what CBS was doing, and I think the longer you wait, the more you know it’s not gonna work out in your favor,” Simms said.

Simms had previously been the main color commentator for the network aside Jim Nantz, but he was replaced by Tony Romo in 2017 and then moved to the studio.

phil simms broadcasting

Former NFL player Phil Simms attends day 3 of SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIV on Jan. 31, 2020 in Miami. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

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Simms was on the network for 26 years after becoming a legend for Big Blue. He helped the 1986 G-Men to their first Super Bowl victory, going 22-for-25 in Super Bowl XLI against the Denver Broncos. His 88.0 completion percentage and 150.9 quarterback rating in that game remain NFL records.

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