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Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe vowed to be back on TV before football season begins. And now we know when and where he will be.
According to Andrew Marchand and Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post, Sharpe will appear on ESPN’s First Take twice per week — Mondays and Tuesdays — during the NFL season.
The end result for Sharpe, who played for the Broncos and Ravens, is a swap of Skip Bayless for his former ESPN co-host, Stephen A. Smith.
Sharpe exited FS1’s Undisputed in June, a move that by all appearances was not voluntary.
Many speculated at the time that the fallout of the Damar Hamlin incident may have been the impetus for Sharpe’s departure.
When the Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest during a game in January and had to be defibrillated on the field, and taken to the hospital, like many others, Sharpe was disturbed by the sight of a young man nearly dying on the field.
He was also apparently incensed by a widely criticized tweet from Bayless asking if the NFL could really postpone the rest of the Monday night game, given its timing and stakes in the playoff race.
Sharpe missed the following day’s “Undisputed” episode, then complained about Bayless’ tweet and bickered with the co-host after he interjected.
After several conversations which went beyond the bounds of healthy debate, Sharpe’s abrupt exodus has left a void in the sports debate ecosystem that football fans can now look forward to returning in the coming weeks.
Steven A. Smith had made it clear that he wanted to add Shannon Sharpe to the rotating cast of guest hosts.
NBC Sports reports Bayless will have a rotation, post-Sharpe. Co-hosts include Richard Sherman and Rachel Nichols — and possibly Keyshawn Johnson or Michael Irvin, who remains in limbo at both NFL Network and ESPN.