Sanders to retire soon, sources say

Updated: January 1, 2006, 6:17 PM ET news services

Deion Sanders made his final NFL start on Sunday, with the future Hall of Fame cornerback expected to announce his retirement in the near future, team sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Baltimore Ravens

Tot Ast Solo FF Sack Int
26 24 2 0 0 2

Prime Time started the Ravens' 20-17 season-ending loss to Cleveland, in place of Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister, who is sidelined with a thigh injury.

Sanders recorded a tackle in all but one game in which he took the field for the Ravens, including three in his finale. He finished the season with 29 total tackles and two interceptions in 14 games.

The team sources also said Sanders, 38, is serious about wanting to continue his career in football as a head coach, if not in the NFL then perhaps one day at his alma mater, Florida State.

Sanders signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Ravens before this season after rejoining the club the previous season following a three-year layoff.

Sanders, playing primarily as a nickel back, finished second on the Ravens last year with three interceptions. He was limited to nine games because of his toe and hamstring injuries.

McAlister, who missed the Ravens' game against Houston on Dec. 4 with a hamstring injury. He returned the following week against Denver.

Last week, he made three tackles in a win over Minnesota.

In 14 starts this year, the 28-year-old had 53 tackles and one interception. The 10th overall pick in the 1999 draft, he played in his second straight Pro Bowl a year ago.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.