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#pounditThursday, October 29, 2020

Deion Sanders joins Barstool Sports after departing NFL Network

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders parting ways with NFL Network made headlines on Tuesday, but that report was just been a precursor to much bigger news.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported that Sanders was leaving NFL Network. A subsequent report from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand said Sanders was asked to take a pay cut and declined.

Now we know why: Sanders is headed to Barstool Sports.

“Pardon My Take”, which is a Barstool Sports property and the No. 1 sports podcast on Apple Podcasts, announced that Deion Sanders has joined the company. Sanders was a guest on “Pardon My Take” on July 26, two weeks prior to the announcement, and then joined the show again for Wednesday’s episode, where the announcement was made.

Willie Colon, another former NFL player who joined Barstool Sports, hyped the announcement and was excited about it.

“I had no idea when I went on with you guys last time that this would transpire so quickly,” Sanders said on “Pardon My Take”.

According to the announcement on the episode, Sanders will launch his own podcast called “21st and Prime”, do some video work for Barstool Sports, and he will join “Pardon My Take” as an NFL guest on Sunday nights during the football season.

This is an absolutely massive hire for Barstool Sports, and likely the biggest name they have ever had on staff. Sanders immediately raises the profile and credibility of Barstool Sports. Prime can now become even more connected to a young audience.

One thing to keep in mind is that when Barstool has made splashy, big-name hires in the past, it hasn’t always worked out for the long-term. Pat McAfee retired from the NFL to join Barstool Sports, but that partnership fell apart and McAfee left the company. The company’s hire of Michael Rapoport ended up a disaster. Both sides are hoping this works out much better.

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