Deion Sanders Reveals the 4 Words That Made Him Take a Swing at a 49ers Teammate

Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders was one of (if not) the best cover man in NFL history. One of the things that made him so good is that he was so competitive that he didn’t even like to look like he messed up on the field, even if the blunder wasn’t his fault. This pet peeve of Sanders led to him getting into a verbal altercation with a San Francisco 49ers teammate, and when the teammate repeatedly responded with four words (“don’t worry about me”), “Neon Deion” took a swing.

Deion Sanders played one season with the 49ers

Deion Sanders’ Pro Football Hall of Fame Career took him from a No. 5 overall pick of the Atlanta Falcons to the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Commanders, and Baltimore Ravens.

After leaving Atlanta, Sanders only spent one season in the Bay Area, but it was a doozy.

In 1994, Sanders played 14 games for the 49ers and made six interceptions, returning them for a league-leading 303 yards and three touchdowns. He finished third in MVP voting, won the Defensive Player of the Year Award, and made both the Pro Bowl and first-team All-Pro.

Sanders’ incredible season helped the 49ers finish 13-3 that season. They then beat the Chicago Bears and defending Champion Cowboys in the NFC playoffs before crushing the San Diego Chargers 49-26 to win the Super Bowl.

The ’94 season represents one of the greatest seasons by a defensive back in NFL history and one of the best free-agent signings of all time. It was the peak of Sanders’ pro football career.

Despite all the success, Deion recently shared that he actually took a swing at one of his teammates after his fellow 49er made him look bad on film and kept responding to “Primetime” with four words.

‘Primetime’ revealed what his teammate said before he ‘swung on’ him

On an episode of Shannon Sharpe’s Club Shay Shay show, Deion Sanders and Sharpe sat down and chatted about a wide range of subjects. At one point, while sharing old NFL stories, Sanders told the Hall of Fame tight end about his physical confrontation with a 49ers teammate.

“I didn’t even want to look like you had me. I remember I swung on one of my teammates because of that in San Francisco,” Sanders shared with Sharpe. “We were playing against the Saints, and we were playing 2-man. I hate playing 2-man. … First play, guy got out there. Ain’t no safety over the top. So, on film, what does it look like?”

“It looks like you got beat,” Sharpe cheerfully responded.

“I don’t play that! I said, ‘Dawg, look here. You need to do your job, man.'” Sanders recalled before sharing that the 49ers player responded, “Ya’ll don’t worry about me.”

“Next play came. ‘Dawg. You need to do your job, man,'” Sanders said, to which the teammate again responded, “Dude, I’ll be there. Don’t worry about me.”

Finally, Deion took his beef to the film room after the game. He said he asked the coach to run the film from the game back and asked him, “Coach, you see me? I’m two yards behind the man. Ain’t nobody over the top. Looks like this guy’s beating me on the play. I don’t even want it to look like he beat me on film.”

“Don’t worry about me. I got mine,” the teammate said one more time. Then Sanders got off his seat and mimicked slapping Shannon Sharpe in the face, implying that his teammate got the same treatment after telling the legend three times, “don’t worry about me.”

He finished the story by recalling that the teammate threatened to sue him.

Who was the 49ers teammate?

Cornerback Deion Sanders of the San Francisco 49ers.
Deion Sanders covering Michael Irvin in the 1994 NFC championship game | Monica DAVIES/AFP via Getty Images
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Deion Sanders didn’t name names to Shannon Sharpe, but it’s not hard to narrow the 49ers player who got smacked by Deion to one of four players. 

When Sanders explained the roots of the 1994 altercation, the CB said the team was playing 2-man defense. That is a defensive scheme with man coverage underneath and two safeties over the top.

This means the player who repeatedly told Sanders, “don’t worry about me,” after blowing his assignment was a safety.

In 1994, the 49ers’ two starting safeties were Merton Hanks and Tim McDonald. Hanks was a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro, while McDonald made six Pro Bowls himself. Both players made the Pro Bowl that season, so it’s hard to imagine it was either of these competent and respected veterans who got into it with “Primetime.”

 The other two safeties who played on the ’94 49ers were Dana Hall and Dedrick Dodge.

Hall was a journeyman who played six seasons for three different NFL teams. He could have been the player to screw up. However, it seems unlikely a young backup would challenge one of the biggest stars in the league like that.