Sports | July 16, 2021 10:26 am

Report: NFL Analyst Tony Gonzalez Leaving Fox to Pursue TV and Film in Hollywood

The former star tight end has worked as a studio analyst for Fox since 2017

Analyst and former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez at the Super Bowl in 2019. Gonzalez is leaving Fox Sports to potentially pursue acting.
Analyst and former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez at the Super Bowl in 2019.
John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated via Getty

Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019, Tony Gonzalez finished his NFL career with more than 1,300 receptions, 15,000 receiving yards and 111 touchdown catches, numbers that earned him 14 Pro Bowl appearances in his 17 seasons playing pro football.

Gonzalez has been active since his retirement in 2013, investing his money, hosting the Wide Open with Tony Gonzalez podcast and working as an NFL analyst, most recently for Fox Sports.

Following appearances in the 2017 Vin Diesel movie xXx: Return of Xander Cage and the television show NCIS, the 45-year old former football star apparently caught the acting bug and is planning to leave football behind for the bright lights of Hollywood as Gonzalez is leaving Fox Sports “to focus on TV and film projects,” sources told Front Office Sports.

In some ways it isn’t all that surprising Gonzalez wants to give it a go as an actor; he’s always been interested in the craft and said during a 2020 interview with InsideHook that How to Stop Acting by acting coach Harold Guskin and other written works on the subject were a big help in his post-football career.

“It takes energy for me to get out of my shell and acting books have really helped me,” he says. “That’s the thing: don’t act, just go be yourself. Be that authentic person in that role. And that’s what it is when you’re in front of the camera or doing an interview. Don’t act. The magic is in the ad-lib … That’s where you want to be. You want to be in that mindset. That’s why I always say everybody should take an acting class, everybody, just because of what it forces you to do. It’s extremely uncomfortable.”

Had he stayed at Fox, Gonzalez likely would have slotted in as a replacement for either Jimmy Johnson (78 years old) or Terry Bradshaw (72 years old) on Fox NFL Sunday. Now, Fox will have to look elsewhere and will also be tasked with replacing Gonzalez on Fox NFL Kickoff. Michael Vick and Emmanuel Acho are both potential replacements, per FOS. As is ex-Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who recently departed ESPN to join Fox as an NFL game analyst.