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#pounditSunday, June 23, 2024

Stephen A. Smith makes public ESPN offer to Shannon Sharpe

Stephen A Smith reports from the sideline

Dec 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith broadcasts before a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Shannon Sharpe is set to become a high-profile media free agent, and he is already being recruited by one of ESPN’s biggest names.

Stephen A. Smith said on his radio show Friday that he was happy to support Sharpe in whatever the outgoing FS1 personality chooses to do next. Smith added, however, that he would love to have Sharpe on “First Take,” and that ESPN’s bosses are aware of that.

“I don’t know what his plans are. I don’t know what he’s trying to pursue. I don’t know what he’s after,” Smith said. “But if Shannon Sharpe needs me, I’m happy to be here for him. And if that included him wanting to come on ‘First Take,’ the bosses at ESPN know that is something I would support.”

Sharpe is set to depart FS1 within the next month, most notably in his role alongside Skip Bayless on “Undisputed.” The show is very similar in format to “First Take,” where Smith and Bayless were sparring partners before Bayless’ move to FOX Sports. While nobody has confirmed it, things do appear to have turned sour between Sharpe and Bayless, which may have contributed to Sharpe’s departure.

Smith is without a permanent debate partner on “First Take” and has been since 2021, when he essentially pushed Max Kellerman out of the role.

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