Well, that didn’t take long. Deion Sanders’ stay on the media free-agent market lasted all of one day. A mere 24 hours after announcing his departure from NFL Network, the Hall of Fame cornerback resurfaced at controversial Barstool Sports, where he’ll debut a new podcast, 21st and Prime. Sanders will also be a regular contributor to Barstool’s flagship podcast Pardon My Take, appearing alongside co-hosts Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter on Sunday nights during NFL season. Per Jordan Heck of Sporting News, Sanders will also be involved with video content.
A longtime broadcast fixture, Sanders had served as an NFL Network studio analyst for 14 years prior to jumping ship earlier this week. With widespread industry cost-cutting amid the COVID pandemic, the NFL Network had hoped to retain the two-time Super Bowl champ at a reduced salary. Clearly Sanders, who celebrated his 53rd birthday on Sunday, was not amenable to a pay cut. Upon leaving NFL Network, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post suggested Sanders could transition into the coaching ranks (he previously expressed interest in coaching at his alma mater, Florida State), though it seems the former Cowboys and Falcons star long had his sights on Barstool.
“Controversy ain’t never scared me,” said Sanders in a video announcing his new gig. “Podcasts are the future and I’m so excited about this opportunity.” Primetime plans to offer his thoughts on all sports, though he insists NFL happenings will still be a frequent talking point. “The NFL has been good to me. I can’t just abandon them.”
A multisport star who, on top of his NFL accolades, also appeared in 641 major-league games for the Yankees, Braves, Reds and Giants, Sanders admitted feeling limited by the confines of live television and wanted a broader platform to voice his ideas. “When you're on a network show, you got a 15-45 second shot clock to get out your thoughts and flesh that out,” Sanders explained on the latest episode of Pardon My Take. “Now, I get to really exhaust my thought and tell you the unfiltered truth.” Barstool has employed NFL alums before including Pro Bowl punter Pat McAfee and former Jets and Steelers offensive lineman Willie Colon.
"Barstool is where the next generation of fans are," said the eight-time Pro Bowler. “I’m right where I want to be.”