“First Take” will get a new wrinkle this fall.
Shannon Sharpe will take on Stephen A. Smith on Mondays and Tuesdays on ESPN’s debate program during football season, The Post has learned.
As The Post first reported, Sharpe left his partnership with former Smith debate opponent Skip Bayless on FS1’s “Undisputed” after the NBA Finals in June.
Sharpe’s “First Take” role is in some ways wrapped up, as it was his appearances on the program with Bayless when the show aired on ESPN2 that convinced Bayless and former FS1 boss Jamie Horowitz that the chemistry would function as permanent partners.
Sharpe is also expected to find a landing spot for his popular “Club Shay Shay” podcast soon.
Sharpe and Smith had both publicly expressed interest in partnering.
The Post has contacted ESPN for comment.
Sharpe was a three-time Super Bowl champion and four-time All-Pro during an NFL Hall of Fame career with the Broncos and Ravens.
As for Bayless, The Post first reported that Richard Sherman would be a regular panelist on the new iteration of “Undisputed,” and Bayless announced that his friend, rapper Lil Wayne, would join the show for a segment or two each. Friday.
Sports Business Journal also reported that Rachel Nichols will be featured on the FS1 show and that Michael Irvin – who has been on ‘First Take’ for several years – was among the other candidates for a role.
Irvin was accused of making lewd comments to a hotel employee during Super Bowl week in Arizona in February, but swore he was innocent.
Smith recently pleaded for ESPN to bring him back on the air.