Fox Sports talking head Skip Bayless doesn't seem to be feeling the heat any longer from his insensitive comments about Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. In fact, it appears as if he's about to cash in on a big payday.
Bayless is "nearing the finish line" on a new contract with Fox Sports, according to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports.
The deal isn't finalized yet, but Bayless is expected to receive a slight raise from his $6-million-per-year salary, according to the report. The news comes in the wake of recent controversial comments made by the 68-year-old Bayless on “Undisputed” on FS1, as questioned the leadership of Prescott for publicly talking about his battle with depression following the death of his brother.
“The quarterback of an NFL team is the ultimate leadership position in sports,” Bayless said to co-host Shannon Sharpe. “You’re commanding a lot of young men and some older men and they’re all looking at you to be their CEO, to be in charge of the team. I don’t have sympathy for him going public with ‘I got depressed.’”
Prescott responded to Bayless by saying he would be a “fake leader” if he didn't talk about his feelings publicly. Bayless was reprimanded by Fox, although to what degree is unknown. He offered no apology when attempting to clarify his remarks the next day, explaining that it was Prescott’s “pandemic depression” that warranted criticism.
“The only Dak depression I addressed on yesterday’s show was from an interview he taped with Graham Bensinger,” Bayless said. “Dak said that depression hit soon after the pandemic hit, early in the quarantine. I said yesterday that if Dak needed help for pandemic depression, he should’ve sought counseling then. And again, if you are suffering from any form of depression, please seek help.”
The controversy led to a major bump in negotiations of his contract, which expires at the end of the month, McCarthy reported.
There had been whispers that Bayless could leave Fox Sports and reunite with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN, according to McCarthy, but he ultimately wants to stay with FS1 in LA, and the feeling is mutual with Fox executives.