Shannon Sharpe, the Denver Broncos prodigal son has returned, and with him, the single biggest hope of returning to the glory years since John Elway retired.
Sharpe, the NFL's all-time leader for tight ends in catches and yards, will make it official at a Friday afternoon news conference, agreeing to a seven-year deal, which includes and $800,000 signing bonus.
"Mike (Shanahan), Shannon and Pat Bowlen get credit for this entirely," said Sharpe's agent Marvin Demoff.. "Pat for understanding Shannon Sharpe's importance to the Broncos organization. Mike for where he fits on the team. And Shannon for the willingness to let bygones be bygones and finish his career there."
Although Shanahan has declined to comment until the deal has been officially signed, Demoff acknowledged that his and Shannon's meetings with the head coach over this past weekend were very productive.
"I said to Mike, 'You tell me how you picture what you can do with me, and I'll tell you how I picture it and we'll see if it's a match,' " Sharpe told the media. "He wanted all the things that I wanted, and I wanted all the things that he wanted. But the thing that we both want more than anything else is for us to win."
Winning, at one time, came easy for both the Broncos and Sharpe, generating back to back Super Bowl championships behind an offense that was considered to be one of the finest in football. Sharpe went on to win a third title in 2000 with the Baltimore Ravens while Denver began its' slow decent into obscurity.
Now, a few years older and a few years wiser, both are hoping to regain the magic that once struck fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators around the league. And, according to Shannon, it shouldn't be that hard.
"I'll bet I can go all the way through the playbook without making more than five mistakes," said Sharpe, who holds the NFL record for tight ends with 692 catches. "I told Mike, given the right set of circumstances, I can still go get 1,000 yards. I know I can."
Given the source, his ability and his history for making bold and brash statements, you would be a fool to bet against him.
Shannon Sharpe is back, and just maybe, so are the Denver Broncos.
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