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Warren Sapp to return to NFL Network for another year

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
He's back. (Getty Images)
Warren Sapp may be out on Inside the NFL after Showtime and CBS declined to renew his contract, but speculation about his tenure coming to an end at NFL Network was just that because NFLN executive producer Eric Weinberger told USA Today that Sapp will be back for at least another year.

"This is probably going to be news to some blogs and articles out there who've said his time is up here," Weinberger said, "but we picked up an option year on his contract." Sapp's on-air duties will remain largely unchanged it seems, including working NFL Network's Sunday pregame show.

Sapp's future at the network seemed to be in doubt after he went on the air and outed former New Orleans tight end Jeremy Shockey as the snitch in the Saints bounty scandal. Complicating matters: Sapp was wrong. In addition to Shockey saying as much, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote at the time: "...asked people familiar with the NFL's investigation and was told Shockey had nothing to do with the case. Nothing. At all." And commissioner Roger Goodell offered this: "[Sapp's] inaccurate, so we'll start with that."

Shockey also called for NFL Network to fire Sapp. Obviously, they did not.

"Is the league going to come down on their own people when someone does something so wrong and outrageous?” Shockey asked Yahoo's Jason Cole in March. “There should be a standard for punishment, like getting suspended or fined or losing your job. If I say something about officials, the league fines me."

Days later in a statement, NFL Network Senior Vice President of Programming and Production Mark Quenzel said that Sapp had been reminded that "he is an analyst and not a reporter for NFL Network. In the future, if he comes across something he thinks is news, he will let his producers know and before it is reported or Tweeted, that content will be subject to the same verification procedure that our reporters follow.”

And now Sapp will be gainfully employed by NFLN for at least another year.

That wasn't the only reason the former Pro Bowler was in the news this spring. Sapp also declared bankruptcy (and not the good kind), announced that he would play a judge in a reality courtroom series, and that he has a new book coming out, Sapp Attack, which includes unfettered gems like this about former Buccaneers teammate, quarterback Trent Dilfer:

"Dilfer … basically was an interception waiting to happen. There were times we practically pleaded with him, 'We know you're not going to score a touchdown, but please, just don't turn it over.'"

And this is the type of trenchant analysis we can expect for another year on NFL Network.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Ryan Wilson on Twitter here: @ryanwilson_07.
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