Former Washington Football Team quarterbacks Alex Smith and Mark Sanchez are ready to take the next step in their lives.
The two former first-round picks, both of whom played in Washington during the 2018 season, each had long and productive NFL careers. If either of the two gets their way, they’ll have an opportunity to follow in Tony Romo’s footsteps soon.
Alex Smith and Mark Sanchez each interviewed with CBS
Television networks love adding former players to their roster as game analysts, studio commentators, and various other roles. Considering how well the Tony Romo hire worked out for all parties, it shouldn’t surprise football fans that CBS Sports wants to add even more quarterbacks.
According to the New York Post, Alex Smith and Mark Sanchez each recently auditioned to become game analysts at CBS. Longtime NFL receiver and current ESPN analyst Joey Galloway also auditioned, as did ex-Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee.
Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005, recently retired after 16 seasons and an improbable comeback with the Washington Football Team. Sanchez, who last played an NFL game in 2018, has spent the last few years as a college football analyst at ESPN.
CBS currently has an analyst opening after the network chose not to re-sign Rich Gannon, the former NFL MVP. Gannon worked with Greg Gumbel on the network’s No. 4 broadcast team.
Smith also interviewed with several other networks
Although his NFL career appears to be over, Smith is nonetheless a popular name on the free-agent market. However, it’s a different type of interest than he’s experienced before.
The New York Post reported that the 37-year-old auditioned to take a game analyst role at Fox. He also met with the NFL Network and ESPN, although it is not known if either company intended to use him in any type of game role.
Fox has an opening after Chris Spielman took a front-office position with the Detroit Lions. Aqib Talib worked multiple games as a fill-in analyst last year, and The Post reported he is likely to receive more games during the 2021 season. However, Fox is not expected to give Talib a full schedule.
Both former quarterbacks deserve an opportunity
If you are a former quarterback, you will almost certainly have networks wanting to give you a chance in television work. Troy Aikman has been at Fox so long that it is easy for younger generations to have no idea he won three Super Bowl rings as the Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback.
Sanchez and Smith are each extremely intriguing candidates, and both are worthy of an opportunity. While his legacy may forever involve the Butt Fumble, Sanchez has done an impressive job breaking down quarterbacks and talking football on ESPN. The 34-year-old also has charm and youth on his side, and both certainly help his case.
Although Smith doesn’t have the TV experience that Sanchez does, the longtime NFL quarterback is an excellent public speaker. He communicates clearly and confidently, two necessary traits from anyone on television.
If a network has to choose between the two for a game analyst role, Sanchez makes more sense, given his prior experience on camera. However, it certainly sounds as if Smith will have some type of broadcasting job in 2021, and the odds of succeeding are absolutely in his favor.