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If Tony Gonzalez had left the door ajar to possibly play an 18th NFL season (or part of one), he did everything but deadbolt it shut Tuesday.

The record-setting tight end officially joined the NFL team of CBS and told USA TODAY Sports he has no plans to rejoin the Atlanta Falcons, even for a potential late-season stint if they're in Super Bowl contention.

"As of right now, I am not even interested in playing another season in the NFL" Gonzalez said, adding his recent comments to ESPN about possibly playing a few games in 2014 were "kind of a joke."

"I'm not killing myself in the offseason anymore," Gonzalez continued, saying he's already scaled down his workout program. "I'm not even preparing to play football.

"It's on to the next chapter in life, and I'm looking forward to it."

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And so Gonzalez turns the page to broadcasting, where he will he be featured on The NFL Today, CBS' Sunday pre-game show, and other network-affiliated productions such as Showtime's Inside the NFL.

The network announced it is parting with longtime analysts and Hall-of-Fame players Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe.

"Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best," said CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus in a statement.

Gonzalez cited a desire to work with CBS veterans James Brown, who hosts The NFL Today and Inside the NFL, and Boomer Esiason.

"It just made sense going with CBS, just a comfort level I had with them at the beginning — I felt they wanted me. Kind of a no-brainer," said Gonzalez. "I love the city of New York, and I have that AFC connection with them after 12 years in Kansas City."

MORE: CBS to air Thursday night games in 2014

Gonzalez admitted he only recently felt comfortable with the idea of making a full-time transition to television even though his marquee looks and engaging personality made him an obvious candidate for the switch.

"I didn't really want to do this until three years ago. I was kind of intimidated and didn't have the experience," said Gonzalez, who frequently made guest appearances on other networks in recent years.

"I've been able to get somewhat comfortable. It'll be tough, and I'll have to learn and get as many reps as I can in front of the camera. ... Everything I've done before, you work for it for a long time. But I have prepared for this, though I admit quarterbacks are more used to it."

Gonzalez, who retired to California, does not plan to relocate permanently to the East Coast. He's consulted other players who have traded helmets for microphones, including Michael Strahan, whose New York-to-Los Angeles weekend commute for FOX takes him in the opposite direction Gonzalez will be going.

"And he's going on a private jet while I'm going commercial," laughed Gonzalez, who also counts Warren Moon and Steve Young among his media mentors.

Gonzalez was a 14-time Pro Bowler in 17 seasons split between the Chiefs and Falcons and set a slew of receiving records, including all the major marks for tight ends.

Football remains in his blood, and he knows it.

"This gives me an opportunity to stay connected to the game, and I have a love and passion for talking about football," said Gonzalez. "And now I don't have to get my butt kicked and put on ice bags every day."

His hiring continues CBS' efforts to ramp up its NFL presence this offseason after recently committing to air eight NFL games on Thursday nights during the 2014 season.

"Having just stepped off the playing field, Tony brings a fresh and insightful perspective," said McManus.

"As a future Hall of Famer, we are excited for him to share his knowledge, experiences and opinions with our viewers. Tony was one of the most respected and hardworking players in the NFL and a tremendous teammate. We look forward to him bringing these attributes to CBS Sports."

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Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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