NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Thursday to share his candid thoughts on numerous topics, including Cris Carter’s advice at the 2014 Rookie Symposium in which he instructed players to have a “fall guy” in case they ever got in trouble with the law.

“I do understand what he was trying to get across, and there’s a lot of truth to that,” Sanders said on Gio and Jones. “There’s a lot of truth to that. But I understand how it came out as well. I respect Cris, and I know what he’s trying to get across. He means right. He means well for all the kids.”

Sanders, a two-time Super Bowl champion and eight-time All-Pro, was asked what advice he would give to rookies every year.

“I would just tell them to learn how to say no,” Sanders said. “‘No’ is the toughest word that you can spit out of your mouth, but it’s very necessary, especially in regards to your family and friends and loved ones.”

Sanders also shared his thoughts on Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his alleged involvement in Deflategate.

“I don’t buy that mess, man,” Sanders said. “Every quarterback in the darn league knows how they want their balls, knows how they like their balls, and you need to take care of them. That’s really what it is. That’s how this game goes. Let’s stop the madness and the mess, man. The guy can play his butt off. The guy’s a winner and he won. Just leave the man alone and let him get back on the field and play this game.”

Sanders played for five NFL franchises, but he is best known perhaps for his time with the Cowboys, who drew criticism this past offseason after signing Greg Hardy to a one-year contract. Hardy, of course, was charged with domestic violence last year and will miss the first four games of the season.

Sanders’ reaction to the signing?

“Why not?” he said. “You know what trips me out, man? We all have some junk going on inside our mind, in our life, in our house, in our cars, everywhere – but when it comes to an athlete, just because he or she makes a certain level of money, we all do not like them to get another opportunity. But we know darn well we got another opportunity on the job that we’re serving right now. This is my second tenure at CBS. I’m getting another opportunity. So I love the kid, I pray for the kid, and if God can forgive him, why can’t we?”

Sanders, 48, is all about second chances. He’s also reached a point in life where giving back is his top priority.

“Man, my life is built for kids,” said Sanders, who runs a youth football program. “My life is not about me. For 14 years, it was all about me – all about my family, making sure my mother ain’t never have to work another day in her life. . . . Now I got 200 kids that I coach that (play) all day on Saturdays from ages 5 to 14. I got a bunch of single mothers that need to see my face and I need to make them smile tonight and let them know they can hold on and make it to anther day because their father that consummated their child ain’t coming back. So my life is in a whole other realm right now. Sports is a wonderful thing. It’s what I did, but it’s not who I am.”


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