All rumours about Tony Gonzalez returning to professional football can now be safely swept under the rug.

The 14 time pro bowler has just been announced as joining CBS Sports' NFL pre-game show 'The NFL Today' replacing Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who are leaving the show.

Marino had been appearing on the show for 12 years and Sharpe for 10, but CBS decided not to renew their contracts and have looked to add a younger, fresher take of the game to the panel. 

"Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement.

“As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports.

While we welcome Tony, we want to acknowledge Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe who have contributed greatly to the success of The NFL Today for more than a decade. Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

The former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons tight end leaves the NFL as the league's all-time leader in touchdowns and yards by a tight end,with 111 and 15,127 respectively.

Gonzalez also holds the NFL's record for consecutive starts (120), and is second overall among all players in receptions with 1,325.

The new cast of 'NFL Today' will consist of James Brown, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason and Gonzalez.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: