• Loading stock data...
Sunday, June 16, 2024

LeSean McCoy Could Replace Shannon Sharpe As Skip Bayless’ Partner

  • Ex-NFL star will seek Shannon Sharpe’s morning show role.
  • But domineering Bayless will have ‘final say’ on Sharpe’s replacement.
LeSean McCoy could join Skip Bayless.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy is emerging as an early possible contender to succeed Shannon Sharpe as Skip Bayless’ debate partner on “Undisputed.”

The former NFL star turned co-host of FS1’s “SPEAK” is expected to have an extended audition with the irascible Bayless once Sharpe takes his contractual buyout from Fox Sports, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Front Office Sports. 

The ex-NFL running back nicknamed “Shady” is still relatively green TV-wise. The six-time Pro Bowler only joined FS1 in September 2022 after a 12-year NFL career with four teams. But McCoy knows how to get into the end zone.

During the last two years of his pro football career, McCoy earned Super Bowl rings with Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs and Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

McCoy’s “Speak” co-hosts Emmanuel Acho and Joy Taylor are also candidates to succeed Sharpe after his six-plus years run with Bayless on the morning embrace debate show. Ditto for Nick Wright, the opinionated and talented co-host of “First Things First.”

Outside of FS1, the sports cable network could make a run at ESPN’s Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, and the NFL Network/ESPN’s Michael Irvin.

Nicknamed “The Playmaker,” Irvin has been chafing at his suspension from NFL Network and ESPN after a controversial conversation with a female hotel employee at the Super Bowl in Phoenix.

The problem for McCoy –  and anybody else seeking to succeed Sharpe – boils down to ego and status.

Virtually nobody wants to work with Bayless. And in his heart of hearts, Bayless probably doesn’t want to work with anybody outside of his “brother from another mother,” Stephen A. Smith at ESPN.

Shannon Sharpe

Fox’s Problem: Nobody Wants to Work With Skip Bayless

Fox will be looking for another partner for Skip Bayless.
June 1, 2023

Bayless is making roughly twice what Sharpe is earning at FS1, said sources. The enfant terrible of sports debate is making roughly $8 million annually to Sharpe’s $4  million. 

Possible contenders should know they must check their ego before Bayless, the Godfather of sports TV debate. 

The 71-year-old Bayless will also have “final say” on Sharpe’s replacement, said sources. 

Bayless is not likely to sign off on any on-air talent who “challenges” him, said sources. Much less one who out-debates him during an extended tryouts, said sources.

Then there’s the diversity and equity issue. It would be difficult for Fox to hire another white male to debate Bayless. With its “barbershop”-style format, “Undisputed” is popular in the Black community. 

The new hire will likely be a person of color, a woman, or both. Especially if they are famous former NFL and NBA/WNBA athletes: the two sports that “Undisputed” likes to debate the most.

Sharpe is expected to leave FS1 after the NBA Finals. He posted a nebulous message Saturday night about the behind-the-scenes drama.

“Stay tuned for the seeds I’m planting,” the three-time Super Bowl winner tweeted.

Messages left with a Fox Sports spokesperson were not immediately returned.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

ESPN Extension Could Set Up Shannon Sharpe As Stephen A. Smith’s Successor

Sharpe is writing one of the great career comebacks in sports TV history.

A Social Media Prankster Is Narrating Several of Dov Kleiman’s TikToks

A nameless person appears in several clips on the NFL aggregator’s account.

Controversial NFL Aggregator Had an Asking Price for X Account

Dov Kleiman was seeking $75,000 for his account in December.

Fox Reveals Its Friday Night CFB Slate With a Few Notable Teams Absent

No Friday night games will feature defending national champions Michigan.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How the US Open is Designed for Drama


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.
June 14, 2024

ESPN Bought Its Tiny Stanley Cup Desk at a Canadian Furniture Store

An ESPN spokesperson says the tight spot was chosen for its view of the ice.
June 15, 2024

Charles Barkley Announces Retirement From Television

Charles Barkley announced that the 2024-25 season would be his final season as an NBA commentator, capping off 25 years with Turner.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
Scottie Scheffler i
June 13, 2024

After Success With NFL and Women’s Hoops, Peacock Is Turning to Golf

Streaming coverage of the U.S. Open is growing.
June 12, 2024

Sage Steele Claims in Suit That Her Agents Prioritized Relationship With ESPN Over Her

She says CAA chose its relationship over ESPN over advocating for her.
June 12, 2024

Paramount-Skydance Merger Off: Could Deal With WBD Be Revived?

Shari Redstone abruptly calls off potential merger discussions between the CBS Sports parent and Skydance Media.
June 11, 2024

USA Cricket Is on the Cusp of a Historic Win. But Who Can Watch?

On Wednesday, the U.S. will face the pre-tournament favorite, India.