Deion Sanders to Depart NFL Network After 14 Years

Last week, Sanders appeared to criticize NFL players who opted out of the 2020 season over COVID-19 concerns

Deion Sanders is high-stepping his way out of the NFL Network. The longtime football analyst and Hall of Famer’s exit was announced on Tuesday.

“Deion has been one of the key figures responsible for the growth of the NFL Network,” NFL VP of communications Alex Riethmiller said in a statement. “We thank him for his work and wish him the best in the future.”

According to Sports Business Journal, which first reported the news, Sanders decided to leave following the end of his current contract. He had been with NFL Network since 2006. Sanders has expressed an interest in coaching in recent months, even telling NBC Sports’ Dan Patrick that he was planning to coach college football this fall.

The news comes a few days after Sanders appeared to criticize NFL players who have decided to opt out of the coming season over concerns regarding COVID-19. “All Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u. This is a business & don’t u EVER forget that. There’s NO ONE that’s bigger than the game itself. Only the ref,umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU! #Truth,” the NFL hall of famer wrote on his Twitter account. 

Sanders was heavily criticized himself for calling out those trying to protect their own and their families’ health. The decision to end his run with NFL Network was not related to this, an individual familiar with the decision told TheWrap.