Three Replacements For Nate Burleson on 'Good Morning Football'

Nate Burleson
Nate Burleson / Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Part of what makes Good Morning Football one of the better AM football shows is the continuity and chemistry between the cast members. Kay Adams, Peter Schrager, Kyle Brandt, and Nate Burleson started off together on set five years ago and have since built GMFB into what it is today. News broke on Wednesday, though, that there would be a shakeup.

Burleson is leaving GMFB daily to become a co-host of CBS This Morning. It isn't ideal timing for NFL Network, given we're on the precipice of another NFL season and that's when GFMB really shines. Burleson is also the first original cast member to leave, so it's an unprecedented situation for the show.

NFL Network will now begin to work and find a replacement analyst to flank Adams, Schrager, and Brandt. The hire will very likely be in-house considering the proximity to the season and the wide array of former NFL talent on the network's roster. And make no mistake, it will be a former player filling Burleson's spot; part of his added value to the show was his NFL experience that couldn't be matched by his coworkers.

Who could replace Burleson? Here are three options.

Joe Thomas

The former Browns lineman stands out as an immediate favorite to join GMFB. He provides analysis in a casual and light-hearted way but is clearly rife with information, capable of disseminating it in easy-to-understand ways. He's still a relative rookie, having only joined the network in summer 2019, but has been impressive in his on-screen appearances. He's not a one-to-one replacement for Burleson, but he would be the best fit on the show.

Steve Smith Sr.

Smith checks several boxes for GMFB. He's a former receiver only a few years out of retirement with a lot of television experience. Smith has been featured as an analyst since 2017 on NFL Network and does good work on pre- and postgame shows. His fiery personality doesn't necessarily come across as a perfect fit with the laid-back, fun flow of GMFB, but he can provide analysis on the same quality level as Burleson and brings a slightly different element to the table with his demeanor.

Michael Irvin

Irvin's consistently high energy level would certainly mesh well with what GMFB does every morning. He, like Smith and Burleson, used to play receiver and has the flair to match. He definitely has strong takes and isn't afraid to let everyone know. What stands out the most in Irving's candidacy, though, is the very simple fact that he used to play for the Cowboys. Name recognition does matter to an extent when it comes to these types of jobs, and Irvin can provide that in a greater quality than nearly any other member of the NFL Network roster. He's also a barrel of fun when he really gets rolling and that is the type of environment GMFB has tried to present over the last half-decade.