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Detroit Lions Hire Hall of Fame Running Back Barry Sanders as Team Ambassador



Barry Sanders is making a return to the NFL.

According to team president Rod Wood, the club is rehiring its Hall of Fame running back to serve as a fan liaison in a formal agreement, putting the legendary tailback back on the payroll nearly 18 years to the date after his retirement from the NFL.

“We’ve thankfully, the last couple years, had an unofficial relationship with him,” Wood told the Detroit News. “This year, we formalized it. You described it well, it’s kind of a brand ambassador. He’ll be going on road trips, showing up for suite visits, he’ll be at the Taste of the Lions event, and just interacting with our fans on behalf of the team.”

“It’s a formal agreement. I worked with Barry and his agent to put something together that works for both of us. It’s not a football role. It’s more of a marketing, business role.”

Sanders, now 49-years-old, was a world-class talent who spent 10 seasons with the Lions. Despite ending his career early, he is still the No. 3 rusher in NFL history with 15,269 yards, recording 1,000 yards per season in each of his 10 seasons in the league.

Before taking his talents to the NFL, Sanders set the college football world on fire at OSU by setting 34 NCAA records in 1988. He went on to win the Heisman Trophy as a Cowboy that season after rushing for 2,628 yards and 37 touchdowns in what many — even his old head coach — call the greatest season by a college football player ever.

“It’s obviously the greatest season any individual has had,” Pat Jones said in 2014. “Hell, maybe in any sport.”

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