Skip Bayless is reportedly going to need a new partner.
Pro Football Hall of Famer-turned-talking head Shannon Sharpe has reached a contract buyout agreement with Fox Sports to end his seven-year run alongside Bayless on Fox Sports 1's "Skip and Shannon: Undisputed," according to the New York Post's Ryan Glasspiegel.
Sharpe's final show is reportedly expected to be after the NBA Finals end in June. He will also reportedly be taking his "Club Shay Shay" podcast with him from Fox Sports.
The development ends what had been a successful partnership for Fox Sports since it poached Bayless from ESPN's "First Take' in 2016 and paired him with Sharpe, previously an NFL commentator for CBS. After years of Bayless verbally sparring with Stephen A. Smith on the highly successful ESPN2 show, Sharpe provided a different voice to counter Bayless in Fox's own morning debate show.
That partnership saw its highs and lows, though. As the Post noted, there was some very public friction between Sharpe and Bayless in the fallout of the Damar Hamlin incident, in which the Buffalo Bills safety went into cardiac arrest during a game in January and had to be defibrillated on the field, then taken to the hospital. Like many others, Sharpe was disturbed by the sight of a young man nearly dying on the field. He was also apparently incensed by a widely criticized tweet from Bayless asking if the NFL could really postpone the rest of the Monday night game, given its timing and stakes in the playoff race.
Sharpe missed the following day's "Undisputed" episode, then complained about Bayless' tweet and bickered with the co-host after he interjected:
Unc Shannon sharpe was explaining why he wasn’t on undisputed yesterday & this man Skip bayless gonna interrupt him when Shannon tells him to take down the tweet of damar Hamlin 🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️🤦🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/hQQK0njiQZ
— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) January 4, 2023
Less than half a year later, it appears that Sharpe is on his way out at Fox, while Bayless remains on the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in March 2021. It's unclear where Sharpe goes from here.
Sharpe's time with Fox has seen him make headlines beyond the Hamlin incident, such as an ugly run-in with the father of Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies and a defamation lawsuit from Brett Favre over his reaction to allegations of misuse of welfare funds.