It certainly isn’t a very happy Easter for Warren Carlos Sapp.
After the NFL Network analyst declared on March 21 via Twitter that the “snitch” in the New Orleans Saints “Bountygate” scandal was former tight end Jeremy Shockey, he was absent from NFLN’s airwaves. He did finish out that week, with his last appearance on the network (in pre-recorded form) on the Saturday “week in review” edition of “Total Access” of that week. Since March 22, his Twitter handle at the time, @QBKilla, had been removed from his on-air chryons. Since then, he changed his Twitter handle to @WarrenSapp.
Now, news has emerged from the Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard that, per league sources, Sapp’s March 24 appearance on NFL Network should be his last, as his tenure there “is likely over.” (You have to scroll all the way down to read the blurb… talk about burying the lede.)
As an NFL Network observer, I should point out that, in the previous two weeks, Sapp’s likeness was seen (albeit briefly) in promos for “Total Access” – though, it looks like they’re going to have to update those promos now. Also, during a segment on Wednesday’s “Total Access” setting up a debate as to which position New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning – who led the team to a second Super Bowl this past February – should appear in this year’s installment of the “Top 100 Players” after being overlooked from last year’s edition, NFL Network played video clips from last year of analysts reacting to the snub – including Sapp.
“He’s ranked lower in quarterback rating than Kyle Orton and Jay Cutler,” Sapp argued on June 12. “David Garrard is higher than [Manning] in the quarterback rating… When you’re a quarterback of a ball club, and you’re name is Manning, you don’t give the ball away more than any other quarterback in the league.”
Sapp wasn’t identified on the replayed piece. In fact, if you listen closely and compare Wednesday’s replay (at 1:10) to the original June 12 clip (at 3:39), another panelist’s calling Warren’s name – right when Sapp said “… in the league” – was edited out of the piece when it was recycled on Wednesday.
You don’t have to be Zapruder to figure out that NFLN is in the process of washing their hands completely of the former “QBKilla”.
(And note that when the show returned live after playing the June 12 clip, Lindsay Rhodes responded, “I’m sure he could have gone in a totally different direction with all of that” – can’t confirm if that was a dig at Sapp or not.)
Anyway, it appears that that will be Sapp’s final appearance on NFL Network’s airwaves. And when you factor in his final official appearance back on March 24, his final two appearances on NFLN have both been Memorex.
Bedard notes via a source that “Sapp’s next on-air appearance has not been determined.” So it looks like he’s as good as done over there.
Sapp still appears on many video segments on the website – to date, the only one the league-run network has scrubbed was the one from their library of videos was from March 21, when Rich Eisen asked Sapp to elaborate on his tweet insisting that Shockey was a “snitch.”
Hopefully, Sapp lands on his feet soon, especially with his financial situation. The next likely landing spot would be ESPN – and as I just speculated as I broke down the unofficial 2012 NFL schedule that was leaked last week, a Buccaneers/Raiders “Monday Night Football” broadcast on ESPN (scheduled for September 9) would be an ideal spot for Sapp to cut his teeth at the Worldwide Leader (Sapp spent his entire NFL career with those two franchises).
Or, I don’t know, maybe he can find work as a journalist.