The Falcons announced the agreement with the defensive back from Florida State, their No. 1 draft choice and the NFL's fifth pick overall, just as the Yankees were starting their game against the Mariners with Sanders as the left fielder.
After striking out in the sixth inning, Sanders walked through the Yankees dugout, shaking hands, and then was seen heading for the locker room, carrying two bats and his glove. Luis Polonia replaced Sanders in the bottom of the inning.
Sanders kept the door open on his chance to play both sports. "Mr. (George) Steinbrenner has been very good to me, and I plan to come back next year. This has been a good experience for me."
Sanders had wanted a six-year, $10.75-million contract. The Falcons had offered a five-year deal valued at about $4 million.