According to the New York Post, the former NFL player has signed a deal that offers him a seat at the popular sports show’s anchor desk to debate Smith while sharing his commentary on the latest sports news. He is scheduled to begin this co-hosting job on Mondays and Tuesdays during football season. This move shouldn’t be a big shock since First Take is the exact place that essentially turned his former Undisputed co-anchor Skip Bayless into a believer that he had on-air potential.
In July, Smith tweeted a clip of the show seemingly confirming the rumors that Sharpe had been in talks to join the show, accompanied by the words, “The man @ShannonSharpe can pull up with a bottle of Hennessy for all I care. I want him on First Take.”
“Let me get right into it because I know the news has been percolating over the last few days is coming to First Take,” Smith said in the clip. “I’m not going to tell you that’s true; I’m not going to tell you it’s not either. What I can tell you is that the honchos are talking to Shannon Sharpe. What I can tell you is that the honchos are fully aware that Stephen A. Smith wants Shannon Sharpe on First Take.”
Smith added how things had gotten serious as the discussion behind closed doors between executives and the Chicago native were heating up to the point where he believed ESPN had a fighting chance to get the three-time Super Bowl champ on board. He also repeated how he favored him being a star contender for the co-host position.
“We are definitely talking to Shannon Sharpe. The conversations are official; the reports have not been misnomers or misreports or anything like that,” he said. “We are talking to him, and I’m hopeful, very hopeful, very confident that ultimately we will be announcing sooner than later that he will be on First Take.”
This news answers the question sports fans had that were wondering where Sharpe would land next in his TV career journey after announcing his last day on the beloved FS1 platform he shared with Bayless.
“Skip Bayless, you fought for me. I’m here because of you. You’ve allowed me to share the stage with you. You allow me to share the platform,” the Chicago native said at the time of his exit. “The opportunity that you gave me, to become what I became, I’m forever indebted to you. I’ll never forget what you did for me. You’ve helped me grow more than you ever know.”