Deion Sanders “Prime Time”
Deion Sanders was born on August 9th, 1967, in Fort Meyers, Florida. Sanders attended North Fort Meyers High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball and was an All-American in all three. Sanders opted for the MLB draft after high school, where he got drafted by the Kansas City Royals. Instead of signing with the Royals, Sanders instead joined the Florida State Seminoles.
Sanders joined Florida State in 1986, playing football, as well as baseball and track.
Sanders was a star with the Seminoles. In Sanders’ first year at Florida State, he was a 3rd team All-American and finished with one interception, which he returned for 100 yards, breaking the team’s record.
In the following years, Sanders would step up his play. Sanders was an All-American cornerback in back to back years. Sanders also won the Jim Thorpe award in 1988 after he finished with five interceptions. One of Sanders most memorable moments at FSU was when he sealed their win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl with an interception with just seconds left.
Sanders was a dominant defensive player, but he was also a monster in the return game. In his senior season, he would average 15.2 yards per return attempt and break the school’s record for most return yards in a career.
After his four year career with FSU, Sanders entered the NFL draft, running an incredible 4.27 40 yard dash at the combine.
Sanders entered the 1989 draft as one of the more highly thought of players entering the draft. He ultimately was selected 5th overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
Sanders would go on to play five seasons with Atlanta, where he would score ten touchdowns, though none would be more memorable than his first.
While at FSU, Sanders became known as an incredible return man, and in the NFL, he continued this trend. On Sanders’ first return of his career, he muffed the punt, recovered the ball, escaped two tacklers, ran backwards to his right and somehow made it outside of the coverage team, returning the punt for a touchdown.
After his initial contract was done with Atlanta, Sanders opted to enter free agency. Sanders would sign a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers
In the one season that Sanders played with San Francisco, he was incredible, finishing with six interceptions and winning defensive player of the year.
After the regular season, Sanders found himself in Super Bowl XXIX against the San Diego Chargers. Sanders made a big play in the 4th quarter, intercepting a pass. The 49ers defeated the Falcons in the Super Bowl, earning Neon Deion his first Super Bowl ring.
After Sanders’ dominant season, he left the 49ers and entered free agency once again. Sanders had multiple teams after him in free agency, most notably the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers, and the Dallas Cowboys.
He ended up signing with the Cowboys for 7 years and 35 million dollars, with a 12.99 million dollar signing bonus, which was the largest contract that any defensive player has ever received at the time.
Sanders signed with the Cowboys in week 2 of the 1995 season, but he did not return until week 9, in a game against his former team, with the he Cowboys defeating the Falcons 28-13.
Sanders was a 4-time Pro Bowler with the Cowboys and won his 2nd Super Bowl as the Cowboys defeated the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. While Sanders originally signed a 7-year deal with Dallas, he only ended up playing five years as the Cowboys cut him after the 1999 season.
After Sanders left, he quickly signed a new contract with the Washington Redskins. Sanders signed a 7-year 56 million dollar contract, but he did not play the full length of his contract. Sanders only ended up playing one solid year with Washington until he retired in July of 2001.
In 2004, Sanders came out of retirement to sign a one-year deal with the Ravens after he was convinced to come out of retirement by Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Sanders had a solid season with Baltimore until he retired once again.
Sanders was one of the best football players of all time, but he was also a great baseball player. Sanders was drafted by the Royals in the 1985 draft, but he opted not to sign with them. Three years later, Sanders entered the MLB draft again, but this time he was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round and signed with them
Sanders did not play for the Yankees long, only playing two years. The most games Sanders played for the Yankees would be in 1990 as he played 57 games and finished with a triple slash of .158/.236/.404. The Yankees waived Sanders after he demanded a one million dollar contract.
After his short two year stint with the Yankees, Sanders signed with the Atlanta Braves. In Sanders first year with the Braves, he struggled as he finished with a triple slash of .191/.270/.345. Even though Sanders wasn’t great, the Braves made the playoffs, which Sanders would miss because of a clause in his NFL contract. After the 1991 season, the season that Sanders was not in the playoffs with the Falcons, Sanders reworked his contract so that he could join the Braves in the postseason if they made it.
The 1992 season was Sanders’ best by far. During the 1992 season, he set a career-high in Batting Average, On Base Percentage, Slugging Percentage, OPS+ and had a career-high number of home runs. The Braves made the postseason in 1992 and ended up making it to the World Series. Atlanta lost the World Series to Toronto in 6 games, but not without an incredible performance from Sanders; he hit .533 with a pair of doubles and five stolen bases.
After the 1992 season, Sanders played two more years with the Braves. He made his final postseason appearance in 1993 as the Braves made it to the NLCS, where they were defeated by the Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games.
Deion Sanders was one of the most skilled and athletically gifted players in NFL history. You could line Sanders up on any player you wanted and he would shut them down, even in the biggest moments, which is how he earned his nickname prime time.
2-Time Super Bowl Champion
8 Time Pro Bowler
6-Time First-Team All-Pro at cornerback
1-Time First-Team All-Pro at Kick Returner
1-Time First-Team All-Pro at Punt Returner
NFL Defensive Player of the year
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