ESPN Signs Shannon Sharpe to Multiyear Deal to Expand Role on ‘First Take’ |

ESPN Signs Shannon Sharpe to Multiyear Deal to Expand Role on ‘First Take’

A year ago, Shannon Sharpe announced he was leaving FS1 and Undisputed, where his media career took off opposite Skip Bayless, but tensions with his co-host led to him seeking a buyout from his contract. Sharpe pretty quickly landed a recurring role on ESPN’s First Take opposite Stephen A. Smith, working with the Worldwide Leader two days a week for the last 10 months.

ESPN and Shannon Sharpe agreed to a multiyear contract extension, the network announced Tuesday. Under the new deal, Sharpe will expand his role on “First Take,” ESPN’s morning debate show with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim.

Sharpe — a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee — joined “First Take” in August 2023.

“Shannon Sharpe has been an incredible addition to the First Take team, enhancing the show’s dynamic with his engaging presence and insightful commentary,” David Roberts, ESPN’s head of event and studio production, said?. “Shannon’s chemistry with Stephen A. Smith has elevated our debates and been another key reason First Take is the premier destination for morning sports discussion.”

Sharpe will also see his role expand across other ESPN programs, the network said. When The Athletic reported Sharpe and ESPN were nearing a multiyear deal in May, a source briefed on the discussions said Sharpe’s new deal could include appearances across NFL programming.

Before his media career, Sharpe played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens. He played in 204 regular-season games and started four AFC Championship games. Sharpe started at tight end in Denver’s back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1998 and 1999 and the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory in 2001.

via: The Athletic

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