Former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe is a difficult man to miss. He’s a brick house reinforced with concrete and with a mouth that operates like a siren. His huge smile and overpowering confidence make him an instant lightning rod in any room he enters.
You either love him, or you hate him. Sharpe is just that type of guy.
There is more of Sharpe to love than to hate. He may be loud, but he speaks his truth. The retired tight end is a hell of a lot more likable than villain Skip Bayless, the man Sharpe argues with every morning on television.
Those arguments have provided Sharpe with a larger-than-life celebrity net worth.
Early Life & Football Career
Former American football player Shannon Sharpe spent his early life in Chicago, Illinois, with his mother, Mary Alice Dixon, but attended high school with his brother Sterling Sharpe in Glennville, GA.
Shannon set records at Savannah State University, an HBCU in the coastal South. Yet, despite tremendous college play, NFL draft scouts somehow overlooked college football’s sharpest tight end.
Now enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, nobody can look past Sharpe’s contributions to professional football.
The Denver Broncos swiped the steal of the 1990 NFL Draft by selecting Shannon Sharpe with the 192nd-overall pick in the seventh round. Denver tried Sharpe at wide receiver during his first season to mixed results.
He switched back to tight end in the 1991 season and was inducted into the Pro Bowl by 1992. That would be his first of eight appearances at the Pro Bowl; the following season, Sharpe made his first All-Pro team of four.
Seemingly, by 1997, Sharpe and the Denver Broncos had stampeded the entire National Football League.
John Elway, Terrell Davis, head coach Mike Shanahan, and the Broncos won back-to-back Super Bowls. They defeated the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. The TE’s towering presence and aptitude for scoring touchdowns landed him on a General Mills Wheaties box — the pinnacle of any athletic career.
Sharpe went to the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and promptly won Super Bowl XXXV with Trent Dilfer and Priest Holmes. Truth be told, it was mostly the Baltimore defense that won the Super Bowl, keeping QB Kerry Collins and the New York Giants offense to zero points. (The Big Blue’s only score came from a 97-yard kick-off return by Ron Dixon.)
Sharpe played one more season in Baltimore before returning to Denver for two final years. Sharpe retired after the 2003 season with over 10,000 receiving yards, over 800 receptions, and precisely 62 touchdowns.
All three statistics established NFL tight end records, which were broken by Tony Gonzalez and then Jason Witten years later.
Shannon Sharpe Post-NFL
Suddenly a former NFL player, Shannon Sharpe kept his career going at a Mile High pitch. He immediately jumped from the field to the booth. He became a co-host on The NFL Today with Dan Marino and Bill Cowher, replacing Deion Sanders and James Brown. Audiences loved Shannon, but soon noticed something peculiar about his speech. His tongue was sharp, but his grasp on grammar was on the cutting edge.
Sharpe is celebrated today for his many meme-able Sharpisms. Indeed, the broadcaster has demonstrated that words need not be real to be understood. Shakespeare coined over 1,700 words, but Sharpe makes up more words than Bill could shake a spear at. I digress.
In 2011, the Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Sharpe, Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk, and Deion Sanders. The class of 2011 marked Sharpe’s third appearance on the ballot, and he had already been named to the NFL First-Team All-1990s.
The former NFL star tight end left CBS Sports in 2014. (Tony Gonzalez replaced Shannon on the program, just as he had in the tight-end records books just a few seasons earlier.)
Sharpe joined Skip Bayless on Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed — a rip-off of ESPN’s First Take — the show Bayless left behind at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Bayless plays the villain while Sharpe plays the understanding, but way larger than life, every-man.
The pair play polar opposites (Bayless loves Michael Jordan, Sharpes loves LeBron James) and still make headlines for their antics. With contract renewals on the horizon, that means more extra sharp for Sharpe.
Shannon Sharpe’s Net Worth
His contract will be up in the summer of 2021, and retired free agent Sharpe will likely restructure a more lucrative deal or get traded to ESPN for Stephen A. Smith.
The former American football player has three children on his bill, named Kayla, Kaley, and Kiari. Shannon Sharpe is single now, but was engaged to social media fitness instructor Katy Kellner in the past. The pair split when Kellner had a baby with her business partner. Sharpe was her fiance at the time.
The three-time Super Bowl champion tight end’s estimated net worth is $12 million today.
The Hall of Famer has been retired from the sport since 2003, but never truly left the game. Why would he? Football has made Shannon Sharpe a sharp-dressed man.
Don’t expect this Mouth of the South to be dull anytime soon.