WASHINGTON – Cornerback Deion Sanders, who a year ago signed a seven-year $56 million contract with the Washington Redskins, likely will be released next month, The Washington Times reported Wednesday.
The newspaper quoted NFL sources as saying the Redskins prefer to recoup $3.5 million of salary-cap space by cutting Sanders, rather than wait to see if he returns to play football after the baseball season is over. Sanders is playing baseball with the Cincinnati Reds.
Sanders' contract allows him to miss the Redskins training camp. If he returned to the team this fall, he probably would miss the first four games.
The Redskins could place Sanders on the "did not report" list and recoup one-seventeenth of his $3.5 million salary for each game he missed. That would allow him to play after the baseball season and keep other teams from signing him.
The Times said the team currently prefers to release him as early as June 2 to free salary-cap space for signing a backup quarterback and filling other slots on the roster.
Sanders, 33, had an unspectacular season with the Redskins after grabbing an $8 million signing bonus. He has not said definitely whether he plans to play in the NFL again, but he has indicated that baseball is his new priority.