Inside look at how Deion Sanders ended up at Barstool Sports

Deion Sanders’ deal with Barstool came together quickly over the past three weeks as Sanders decided to turn down an NFL Network extension offer that would have cut his seven-figure salary in half.

The Barstool agreement comes with the promise that it will be fully supportive of Sanders’ ongoing pursuit of a college football coaching job.

It is a fascinating marriage on many levels as the dynamic Hall of Famer is joining a nemesis of the NFL and a platform that is always in controversy, including recently concerning resurfaced video of its founder, Dave Portnoy, using the N-word.

On the business side, it is another example of the transitioning of sports media personalities to new platforms and entities like Barstool connecting with a younger demographic.

It was born out of Sanders’ sons’ affinity for the Barstool podcast, “Million Dollaz Worth of Game,” and negotiated by Barstool’s CEO Erika Nardini and Sanders’ representative Constance Schwartz, the co-founder of SMAC Entertainment.

“This wasn’t a strategy,” Nardini told The Post, who was told by the hosts of “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” that Sanders had interest in Barstool. “He’s Deion Sanders. You get a text message introducing you to Deion Sanders, you respond to the text. You get on the airplane. It was serendipity more than anything else.”

At Barstool, Sanders will create a new Sunday morning pregame show that will include Portnoy and Dan “Big Cat” Katz. Sanders will also have his own podcast called “21st and Prime” and appear on “Pardon My Take.”

“Deion’s passion is coaching,” Schwartz told The Post. “He loves to go where the kids are and the youth and the 18-35s and that is what Barstool has.”

Sanders leaves the NFL to join a company, headed by Portnoy, that has been a constant irritant to the league, printing shirts of commissioner Roger Goodell with a clown nose. Portony was thrown out of a Super Bowl by NFL security, which is just the start of the poor relationship between the league and the site. This all goes against the backdrop of players being fans and guests on Barstool.

Nardini and Schwartz declined to say what the financials of the deal were. Schwartz wouldn’t go into specifics about what happened with the NFLN, but sources have told The Post the NFL wanted to cut Sanders’ salary from just less than $2 million per year in half.

“They came to Deion with a deal that was a big pay cut and we talked about it and we just felt it was time to move on from there,” Schwartz said. “We are in great standing with them. The door is open to still work one-offs with the NFL and its partners. We will look forward to working with them.”

Barstool is not in great standing with the NFL. In April, Portnoy won a charity auction to sit with Goodell for a “Monday Night” game this year, but the NFL decided to forgo his $250,000 bid to go with the next highest number.

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The NFL declined comment on Sanders’ Barstool deal. Schwartz hopes Sanders can help mend things.

“One of Deion and my goals is to help bridge that relationship and see where we can go from there together,” said Schwartz, who used to work at the NFL.

As for some aspects of Barstool being associated with racist comments, it was not a factor in Sanders’ decision.

“It never came up,” Schwartz said. “We never had the conversation. These guys have been very transparent on their podcasts and off their podcasts. Deion and I never addressed it at all. It wasn’t a concern for us. You know Deion takes everything on as straightforward as they come.”

This includes coaching, which Sanders, 53, still has his eyes on after being passed over by his alma mater, Florida State

“You are not wrong on coaching in the future and Barstool is very supportive of that,” Schwartz said. “He is coaching now, but, as you said in your article yesterday, he still has aspirations to coach at the college level and Barstool is fully on-board for that.”

Right now, Sanders is very excited about being able to talk in more than 30-45 second clips and to say what he feels. After Sanders spoke with Portnoy and Nardini, Nardini and Schwartz took care of the rest.

“It was honestly the best negotiation I have ever experienced,” Schwartz said. “Everything Erika said they have done. They have been great partners so far.”

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