NFL: Shannon Sharpe Reportedly Working on Stephen A. Smith’s “First Take” Show on ESPN

As Skip Bayless and FS1’s “Undisputed” move to a roundtable format, Stephen A. Smith and ESPN’s “First Take” are doing something similar with his former cohost.

NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, who debated opposite Bayless for over six years, will be on with Smith during the NFL season on Mondays and Wednesdays, per The New York Post. The outspoken former tight end will ostensibly keep a similar format.

Smith, for his part, brushed off the rumors about Sharpe joining the show, saying no contract has been signed.

“We all know it’s something that I want,” Smith said of Sharpe debating him. “It’s something that I’ve declared because I respect Shannon, I like him, I think he’d be a tremendous asset to the show … Here’s the issue: We don’t (have him) … Shannon Sharpe has yet to sign on the dotted line to be a member of ‘First Take.'” Smith did add that he will make it happen, one way or another.

Smith has not been shy about wanting Sharpe on the show, which likely made it only a matter of time before ESPN pulled the trigger.

“What I can tell you is that the honchos are fully aware that Stephen A. Smith wants Shannon Sharpe on ‘First Take,'” Smith said on his podcast, casually referring to himself in the third person as only Stephen A. can. “Make no mistake about it.”

Smith added Sharpe’s sharp debate skills are the reason he wants him to appear, saying it would make them better.

“Iron sharpens iron, we elevate one another,” Smith said. “When it comes to television, when it comes to being in front of a microphone or a camera, I’m not taking a back step to any-damn-body.”

Shannon Sharpe’s First Take schedule on ESPN

Sharpe is reportedly going to appear on Mondays and Wednesdays during the NFL season, per The New York Post. This is assuming Smith’s confidence is founded.

Assuming he’s starting after Week 1, which begins with the Lions playing the Chiefs on “Thursday Night Football,” that would make his first date Sep. 11.

Here’s a look at the full Sharpe schedule, which would be subject to change.

Week Monday Date Wednesday Date
1 Sep. 11 Sep. 13
2 Sep. 18 Sep. 20
3 Sep. 25 Sep. 27
4 Oct. 2 Oct. 4
5 Oct. 9 Oct. 11
6 Oct. 16 Oct. 18
7 Oct. 23 Oct. 25
8 Oct. 30 Nov. 1
9 Nov. 6 Nov. 8
10 Nov. 13 Nov. 15
11 Nov. 20 Nov. 22
12 Nov. 27 Nov. 29
13 Dec. 4 Dec. 6
14 Dec. 11 Dec. 13
15 Dec. 18 Dec. 20
16 Dec. 25 Dec. 27
17 Jan. 1 Jan. 3
18 Jan. 8 Jan. 10

Obviously Sharpe may appear on dates outside of these ones, and he might miss dates as well. But this is the tentative outlook and first best guess for when he’ll appear across from Smith.

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