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After Deion Sanders retired, it should come as no surprise that he quickly became an entertaining broadcaster. “Prime Time” always gave great quotes to the media during his playing days, and he loved to trash talk on the field. The only problem was, when Sanders became an NFL TV analyst, there was one other former pro athlete he didn’t get along with very well. Here’s the story of the on-air feud Sanders had with former quarterback Boomer Esiason.

Deion Sanders moved from the field to sports broadcasting on CBS

Deion Sanders, Boomer Esiason
Deion Sanders on CBS | Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Anyone who followed Deion Sanders during his playing days knows how outspoken he could be. He never shied away from giving his opinions on any number of topics. While he talked a lot of trash on the field, as a Hall of Fame cornerback, he could also back it up. 

After a storied career that included stints with the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Commanders, and Baltimore Ravens, Sanders moved to sports broadcasting.

While he’d later join the NFL Network, he started with CBS. Sanders was one of the panelists on the network’s NFL Today program. In this role, he provided pre- and post-game analysis, as well as commentary during halftime of games. 

Sanders wasn’t the only respected former player on CBS. Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino was also there, as was former Cincinnati Benaglas and New York Jets signal-caller Boomer Esiason.

And when Sanders crossed paths with Esiason, there were explosive results. 

The feud between Deion Sanders and Boomer Esiason explained

Deion Sanders and Boomer Esiason clashed over a number of subjects during their time together on CBS. The most famous (or infamous) confrontation was over former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

According to Pro Football Talk, the major disagreement between Sanders and Esiason happened following a 60 Minutes piece (above) about the gifted but beleaguered pass-rusher. A brilliant defensive player during his career, Taylor was also known for being troubled off the field

Esiason reacted harshly to the piece, criticizing Taylor for his words and conduct and stating, “This is not the NFL that I played in.”

Sanders took offense to this, pointing out that he, and many players from that era, weren’t necessarily perfect.

“I did a lot of things that I’m not proud of. And I admit to it,” Sanders fired back.  “I’m so fortunate to sit up here with guys that never done anything wrong.”

According to an article from Chron, the disagreements weren’t manufactured to make better television. They were legitimate. Esiason said  it “showed that we are completely different people from completely different walks of life who see the world in completely different fashion.”

Sanders agreed that the feud wasn’t generated for TV.  “I don’t make anything up. I’m honest. My opinions are genuine,” he said. “We go at it, but we must respect one another’s opinion.”

“Coach Prime” is now succeeding as a college football coach


Deion Sanders Fires Back at Nick Saban After Alabama Coach Accuses Jackson State of Paying $1M for a Player

In 2004, Deion Sanders left CBS and Boomer Esiason behind. According to an ESPN report, the former star cornerback wanted a considerable bump in pay. He would later be replaced by Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. 

Sanders moved to the NFL Network, where he joined Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Michael Irvin, and others providing analysis for their NFL coverage.

However, the football legend’s current role isn’t as a broadcaster. “Coach Prime” has moved to the world of college football.

Sanders took over as head coach for the Jackson State University Tigers. In his first head coaching role, the Hall of Famer put the HBCU program on the map. JSU went 27-6 and made two bowl appearances in two full seasons (and one abbreviated due to COVID-19) under “Coach Prime.”

Deion Sanders also recruited several top national recruits to the unheralded program. This includes the No. 1 recruit in 2022, CB Travis Hunter, and his own son, QB Shedeur Sanders.

Ahead of the 2023 college football season, Deion moved from the Southwestern Athletic Conference to the Pac-12 with Colorado. The former NFLer brought several of his JSU stars with him to Boulder, including Hunter and Shedeur.

In true “Prime Time” fashion, Deion wasn’t afraid to stir the pot in his new job.

In his first meeting with the team, he let the current players know he’d be getting rid of many of them. And, true to his word, the Buffaloes have had 41 players from last year’s squad enter the transfer portal since April 15, the most in NCAA history.