When he retired from the NFL, Gannon did not know what he would be doing. But he continues to stay involved in football as an NFL analyst.
Taking a look at Gannon’s early years in Minnesota
Before he entered the league, he played at the University of Delaware. Gannon had a lot of success. During his time at Delaware, he set 21 school records, including total offense (7,432 yards), passing yards (5,927), pass attempts (845), and completions (462). He was the only Delaware player at the time to achieve at least 2,000 yards of offense three consecutive seasons. During his senior season, he won Yankee Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors and was an honorable mention All-American selection.
After an impressive career at Delaware, the New England Patriots selected him in the fourth round of the 1987 NFL draft. The Patriots wanted to move Gannon to running back, but Gannon did not want to make the switch. New England wasted no time trading Gannon to the Minnesota Vikings. In his first two seasons with the Vikings, he did not see much playing time. He played in seven games between the 1987 and 1988 season.
In his third season with the Vikings, he started his first game in Week 4 of the 1990 season. That season Gannon saw a lot more action on the field, and he finished throwing for 2,278 yards and 16 touchdowns. He spent his first five seasons with the Vikings and was then traded to the Washington Football Team.
Gannon had success late in his NFL career
Gannon spent one season in Washington and then signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995. He spent time as a backup for two years and never really saw much playing time. Gannon’s career took off when he joined the Oakland Raiders in 1999. He excelled playing under Jon Gruden. In his first season, he threw for 3,840 yards and 24 touchdowns. He made his first Pro Bowl in his first season with the Raiders.
He made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1999 to 2002. During that time, he threw for over 3,500 yards each season. In 2002, Gannon had a breakout season. He was named the AP NFL MVP after throwing for 4,689 yards and 26 touchdowns. That year he led the league in passing yards, completions, and attempts. Gannon also led the Raiders to the Super Bowl during the 2002 season as they ended up losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. During his time in Oakland, he was a two-time first-team All-Pro selection, and he was a two-time Bert Bell award winner. The award was presented to the player of the year in the league. He finished his career throwing for 28,743 yards and 180 touchdowns.
Gannon starting a new career in the broadcast booth after retirement
Gannon retired from football due to a neck injury. He did not know what he would be doing after his football career ended. In an article from raiders.com, Gannon talked about how he got into sports broadcasting. “Honestly, I had no idea,” Gannon said about what he planned on doing after retirement. “I got done playing in 2004 because of the neck injury and I went home, and really had no intentions of being involved in broadcasting. Got a call from my agent and said, ‘CBS wants you to come into New York and do an audition. Do you have an interest in doing it?’ And I thought, I don’t know. [My agent] said, ‘You should probably do it.'”
Gannon did the audition, and it would set him up for his next career. He had to learn the ins and outs of the business, and he enjoyed the process of becoming a broadcaster. “I think the biggest thing was understanding television, understanding the pacing and the timing,” he said. “My first game, my producer kept saying, ‘Jump in, jump in!’ But I was waiting and there were three or four seconds of dead air, and in the television business and you got to be quick and jump right in.”
Gannon is currently a sports analyst for NFL on CBS. He had no idea what he would be doing after football, and ever since he’s retired, he’s still been involved in football.