First, Tony Romo said thanks but no thanks to a starting quarterback job in Houston (with a Texans team coming off a strong showing in the AFC Divisional Playoffs against the New England Patriots) in favor of the No. 1 game analyst job with CBS Sports.
The final pass of Tony Romo’s career… TOUCHDOWN! �� https://t.co/XSIgol4Na1
– NFL (@NFL) April 4, 2017
Then Jay Cutler decided to step away from the game at age 34 (after a starting quarterback market never really materialized) for the opportunity to be part of the No. 2 broadcast team at FOX Sports.
It’s been a strange and unique offseason for both the quarterback and television analyst markets and the two remained intertwined for several months.
Are Romo and Cutler deserving of those jobs? Will they be up to the task? Does it bother former players that highly sought-after opportunities such as these were given to Romo and Cutler without any experience?
I asked the latest crop of aspiring broadcasters among current and retired players that attended the annual Broadcast Boot Camp this week at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J.
Here’s what they had to say.
“It’s crazy. It’s almost like I’m going to give you the Super Bowl without making you go through the entire season … I’m learning here at the Boot Camp that there’s so much to it. Things have never been given to us. We’re rookies now and we realize we have to earn it in this industry as well.”
— Future Hall of Fame pass rusher and former Romo teammate DeMarcus Ware
“[Romo and Cutler] don’t strike me as the kind of guys I want to hear talk. They’re both kind of monotone. Not really energetic guys. I get it because they are starting QBs. I’m definitely interested to see how they do and maybe that’s what the networks want.”
— Super Bowl champion defensive tackle Barry Cofield
“I think Jay is going to be great. He’s going to tell you how it is. A lot of people don’t really know him but once you get to know him he’s great.”
— Former quarterback and Bears teammate Jimmy Clausen
“Jay gets a bad rap as a teammate because people focus so much on his body language on the sidelines. He was a great teammate.”
— Current Jets running back and longtime Cutler teammate Matt Forte, who added that it didn’t bother him that the jobs were handed to Culter and Romo without prior experience: “I guess that’s the idea is to get attention and now Tony and Jay will have to do well with the attention that they are going to get.”
“[I’m] not surprised. Huge names. Quarterbacks. They know how to prepare and read defenses. Hopefully they bring that work ethic to this job. I’m intrigued by Jay Cutler. I think he’s going to tell you what he thinks and it could be really interesting. I think they’ll be compared to each other moving forward as analysts like they were as QBs.”
— Former longtime Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis.
“If my son wants to play football the position I’m going to lead him towards is the QB position. Then those jobs are just sitting there for you when you are done. I think it comes with the territory of playing the position. Cutler is a charismatic guy. He has a look to him that you wouldn’t think it’s the case. It reminds me of Eli Manning. He’s hilarious but people wouldn’t really know it.”
— Former Super Bowl champion and three-time Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle
“It doesn’t bother me at all. I’m 6-foot-8 with a face for radio.”
— Former offensive lineman Adam Terry