Big changes coming for NFL Network

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

As you know, the NFL Network is owned by the NFL.

Apparently, part of their yearly production budget is being used for the celebration of the NFL’s 100th season.

This has resulted in five shows being cut from the fall lineup. While there are concerns amongst the on-air talent regarding contract talks and possible salary reductions, at least one newly hired personality will be incredibly popular in the Cleveland market.

The five programs that are being cut are: Deion Sander’s “21 & Prime,” “Power Rankings,” “Pick ’em,” “Playbook,” and “Mic’d Up.” I actually enjoyed Sander’s show and “Mic’d Up” but really won’t miss the others.

In a statement issued by the NFL, they will be introducing new shows to replace these that are geared specifically towards the 100th season retrospective. Some reports say that the budget is being reduced by $20 million in cutting these shows and renegotiating some contracts, and yet the NFL says they are actually increasing the budget and moving money around to add new shows.

No word yet on exactly what the new shows will be or which on-air personalities will be renegotiating, however one huge announcement for Cleveland fans is the addition of future Hall of Fame left guard Joe Thomas to their Thursday night game coverage.

In his new role, Thomas (@joethomas73) joins NFL Network’s on-location pregame and post game shows for the 13 Thursday Night Football games during the 2019 season, which kicks off Thursday, September 12 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Carolina Panthers.

Additionally, Thomas will appear on NFL Network’s expansive coverage of such events as Super Bowl LIV, the NFL Scouting Combine and the NFL Draft, as well as various NFL Network programs such as NFL Total Access and NFL GameDay Morning.

Browns fans still miss Thomas’s presence on the field. The 10-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle was one of the bright spots during a long 11 season run of losing season records. One good record, of course, was his 10,363 consecutive snaps which is the longest streak since the NFL started tracking such things.

Since retiring from football after a season-ending triceps injury in 2017, Thomas has remained connected to Browns fans and football fans all over the country with the popular ThomaHawk Podcast that he hosts alongside former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. He’s often stated on radio or TV interviews that he’d love to be in the entertainment arm of football, so it looks like he’s getting that chance this Fall.

While we wait to see exactly what new programming the NFL Network will have to offer us, if their 100th Anniversary commercial is any indication then I’m sure it will be fun!

 

Talk football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8

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