Deion Sanders' Colorado Contract, Buyout Details Revealed After Jackson State Exit

Erin WalshDecember 5, 2022

BOULDER, CO - DECEMBER 4:  Deion Sanders, CUs new head football coach, takes questions in the Arrow Touchdown Club during a press conference on December 4, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado. CU held an introductory press conference to announce the hiring of Deion Coach Prime Sanders as the schools new head football coach. Chancellor Phil DiStefano and athletic director Rick George accompanied Sanders into a packed room in the Arrow Touchdown Club inside the Dal Ward Athletic Center. Sanders becomes the 28th head coach in Buffalo football history.  Sanders, who known as Prime Time during his Hall of Fame playing career has since transitioned into Coach Prime as a head football coach. Sanders, 55, joins the CU program from Jackson State University where in three seasons the Tigers compiled a 27-5 record and won back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference championships. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Deion Sanders was officially introduced as head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes on Sunday, and we now know what the former Jackson State bench boss will earn in his new role.

Sanders agreed to a five-year, $29.5 million deal with Colorado, according to Brian Howell of the Boulder Daily Camera.

Full details:

Brian Howell @BrianHowell33

Sanders would owe CU $15M if he leaves in the first year, $10M if he leaves in the 2nd year, $8M in the third year and $5M if he leaves after that. If Colorado fires Sanders at any point without cause, the school would owe him 75% of his remaining contract. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cubuffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cubuffs</a>

Brian Howell @BrianHowell33

Should be noted, Deion Sanders' contract still has to be approved by CU regents. That could happen this week, but that's basically a formality. Would be shocking if the regents (many of which were there today to celebrate the hire) voted against the deal. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cubuffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cubuffs</a>

Sanders coached Jackson State over the last three seasons, amassing a 27-5 record while leading the Tigers into the national spotlight during his tenure.

Jackson State put together its first undefeated season in program history in 2022, finishing 12-0. The Tigers won the SWAC title Saturday with a 43-24 win over the Southern Jaguars and will take on the North Carolina Central Eagles in the Celebration Bowl on Dec. 17.

During his introductory press conference in Colorado, Sanders expressed his desire to rebuild a Buffaloes squad that finished last in the Pac-12 this year with a 1-11 record.

Sanders said, via Zach Koons of Sports Illustrated:

“Now that I’ve gotten here and I see and I can understand it and I can grasp it, and I can feel it and I can touch it and I can taste it. I truly understand what you want. All you want is an opportunity to win. To compete, to dominate. To be among the elite, to be among the best. And darn it, I’m gonna give you that.

“We’re not here to compete but to win. Not to show up but to show out. Not to be among the rest but to be the absolute best. We’re coming to work, not to play. We’re coming to kill, not to kick it. Baby, I got to believe that we’re coming.”

The Buffaloes fired head coach Karl Dorrell following an 0-5 start to the 2022 season and replaced him with interim head coach Mike Sanford. Dorrell had been the coach at Colorado since 2020.

Sanders will be tasked with leading Colorado to its first winning season since 2016 when his team hits the field in 2023. While that could be a difficult task, the Buffaloes are expected to receive commitments from some top recruits with Sanders aboard.

Colorado already landed a commitment from five-star wide receiver Winston Watkins Jr. on Sunday. Additionally, Sanders hinted at his son, Shedeur Sanders, transferring from Jackson State to Colorado for the 2023 season:

Grace Remington @GraceRemiTV

Deion Sanders introduces his son Shedeur in his opening statement:<br><br>“That’s your quarterback.”<br><br>“He’s gonna have to earn it though. The safety (Shilo) made me mad so I didn’t bring him.” <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoBuffs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoBuffs</a> <a href="https://t.co/aBhpNQXuDy">pic.twitter.com/aBhpNQXuDy</a>

During the 2022 season with the Tigers, Shedeur Sanders completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 3,383 yards and 36 touchdowns against six interceptions, in addition to rushing for 174 yards and five scores.

Sanders spent 14 seasons in the NFL and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He won two Super Bowl titles and the 1994 Defensive Player of the Year award. Additionally, he was a six-time All-Pro and eight-time Pro Bowler.