Two days before the NFL draft in April, Sharpe announced his intention to return for a 15th NFL season and his 13th with the Broncos. But that was before Sanders' contract dispute with CBS gave him a chance to join the network as a full-time analyst.
Sanders, a former star cornerback, reportedly was seeking $2 million per year while CBS countered with an offer of $1.3 million annually. After the talks reached an impasse, CBS contacted Sharpe.
Sharpe, 35, is a virtual lock for the Pro Football Hall of Fame after setting records for tight ends with 815 catches for 10,010 yards and 65 touchdowns. He had 62 receptions for 770 yards and eight scores last season.