ASHBURN, Va. -- Seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback Deion Sanders retired from the NFL on Friday, two days before he was due to report to the Washington Redskins' training camp.
"In my discussions with (Sanders' agent) Eugene Parker, it was evident from his comments that Deion Sanders did not want to play football," coach Marty Schottenheimer said.
"With that understanding, both parties have reached a mutually beneficial agreement. Deion Sanders will retire as a National Football League player, and a financial agreement has been reached."
Sanders, 33, informed the Redskins of his decision through agent Eugene Parker, the sources said. The seven-time Pro Bowl performer, regarded by many as the premier coverage defender in NFL history, intends to file his official retirement papers with the league.
Sanders and the Redskins agreed on a settlement that will allow him to keep all but $500,000 of the $8 million signing bonus he received as part of the seven-year, $56 million contract that he signed with the team last summer. He had already received $5.5 million of the bonus, and was due another $2.5 million this year.
The two sides agreed to delay that payment until next March, with Sanders now set to get $2 million of the original $2.5 million.
The decision came less than one full day after Sanders cleaned out his locker with the baseball Syracuse SkyChiefs, the triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Published reports claimed that Sanders, who departed the club after autographing memorabilia for Syracuse players, told his baseball teammates he was resigned to report to the Washington training camp.
Sanders' football contract stipulated that Sanders report to camp unless he was on a major league baseball roster when the summer workouts began.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.