Gone but not Forgotten

Once contract negotiations broke down between CBS Sports and Deion Sanders, the result seemed almost inevitable. 

Once contract negotiations broke down between CBS Sports and Deion Sanders, the result seemed almost inevitable. 

You knew it was going to happen. 

After all, it was an opportunity too good to pass up, and Shannon Sharpe is definitely not one to overlook a good opportunity. Especially one as custom fit as the color analyst gig on the highly touted CBS' NFL Today show. 

The match made in heaven, which is expected to earn the seven-time Pro Bowler just shy of $1 million per year, became official on Monday, ending the reign of Denver's most prolific and outspoken player since John Elway. 

"Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would end like this," Sharpe told the Denver Post. "To come in like I did, have the career I did and now just move from one thing to another, it almost seems too good to be true.

To good to be true seems to be the pattern for Sharpe.

Since joining the Broncos as the 192nd player selected in the 1990 NFL draft, Sharpe has made a career out of being the "too good to be true" guy. In fourteen NFL seasons the Savannah State alumni has amassed quite a collection of accomplishments.

  • NFL's all-time leader for receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and touchdown catches (62) by a tight end.
  • The Broncos' all-time leader in receptions (675) and touchdown catches (55).
  • NFL's single-game yardage record for a tight end, set on Oct. 20, 2002 at Kansas City (214 yards on 12 receptions).
  • Second in Broncos history in receiving yards (8,439).
  • Three Super Bowl Rings, two with the Broncos (XXXII and XXXIII) and one with the Baltimore Ravens (XXXV).

Now that the records are cut in stone, Sharpe plans on pursuing a career using his second greatest asset: his mouth.

"It was a decision that I felt best suited me and my family at this stage of my career. Said Sharpe. "It got to the point where I asked myself, 'What else can you accomplish in football?' The answer was, really nothing. OK, then, let's move on to another stage of your life and let's try to be as successful in this as you were in football."

With his quick wit and outspoken humor, few doubt his chance at success on a national level, yet his departure cuts hard in Bronco circles.

The mouth that roared may be missed, but he will never be forgotten.

 "I love Shannon Sharpe and wish he were playing for us, but at the same time, I fully understand his taking advantage of an opportunity in his future career that does not come one's way often," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen told reporters. "Everyone in the organization wishes him well and fully understands." 

"He has always been outstanding on and off the football field, and he'll be a great addition to CBS," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "I cannot thank him enough for being such a great leader for the Denver Broncos."

"I truly believe that Shannon Sharpe is the best tight end ever to have played the game."

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