Deion Sanders’ tenure at NFL Network has come to an end, as first reported by John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal and later confirmed by NFL Network. Sanders was not fired – his contract expired, and he made the choice not to re-up.
Sources: @DeionSanders is leaving NFL Network. His contract had expired, but he opted to leave.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) August 11, 2020
Here’s the brief statement from NFLN.
Deion has been one of the key figures responsible for the growth of NFL Network. We thank him for his work and wish him the best in the future.
Sanders reportedly agreed to a new contract, but did a U-turn and decided to leave the network. The New York Post reports that the two parties couldn’t agree to a pay cut.
Last year, Sanders was reportedly a candidate for the head coaching job at Florida State, his alma mater. The job eventually went to Mike Norvell of Memphis. Earlier this year, Sanders said he would be a college football coach “next year” (apparently meaning for the 2021 season), and that desire to get into coaching at the next level likely played a role in his decision to leave NFL Network.
Sanders has been a staple on NFL Network for the last decade-plus and was one of the network’s longest-serving on-air personalities. But let’s not kid ourselves: Sanders hasn’t really changed or evolved all that much as an NFL Network analyst since he started in the role back in 2006, and a change is probably for the best for all parties.