Speaking Tuesday on "The Rude Awakening" on WCNN-AM in Atlanta, Sanders addressed a variety of topics, including his upcoming induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and his concerns about Bryant, who has found himself in legal hot water this offseason.
Sanders, who's also an NFL Network analyst, said Bryant's problems have been exacerbated by his big contract and the crowd that surrounds him. Bryant, 22, had a well-publicized run-in with a Dallas-area mall's security staff this summer, and he also has been sued over unpaid jewelry bills.
"It's hard to talk to a person when they have millions, man, because there is so much noise in their life," Sanders said. "Everybody around them is employed, and they have 'yes men.' You gotta start hiring a 'no man.' Somebody who is going to tell you no and somebody who is going to tell you the truth, and a lot of these guys don't, and when it comes to him with a lot of things, I had to cut my umbilical cord with him because a lot of things people do not know about."
Bryant's behavior isn't consistent with the example that Sanders wants to set for the children he's mentoring.
"I'm trying to open schools and get these kids prepared for the future, and I can't have that on my record saying that: How am I going to send my kids to your school and this is what you are turning out over here?" Sanders said. "No, I am not turning that out over there. I have nothing to do with that, and I had to cut that cord because you can't keep doing the same old things that you've always done. You are going to get the same old things you've always got, so that's why I had to separate myself.
"I love him. I see him from time to time. I pray for him, but as a unit we had to separate."
Sanders is taking his Aug. 6 induction into the Hall of Fame in stride, but he's more excited to be the first Atlanta Falcon to go into Canton.
"Yeah, with all the great Falcons and the great players that played this game in those Atlanta Falcons uniforms, it really is (an honor), and I'm thankful," Sanders said. "I'm reminded by Taylor Smith, the former owner, who once told me after he let go of me in free agency with a smile on his face, 'If it (Hall of Fame induction) ever happens, please remember us. Just remember us.' I said 'I will. I definitely will.' I never forgot.
"This is the genesis of my career. This is where it all started. I would never lose sight of that. I never wanted to leave, but I had to leave. I was never offered a contract. I'm happy that I am back, and I am elated.
"The bust is going to have curls because you make the bust the way you wanted, so I'm going to have hair. The Hair Club for Men didn't make black hair like I wanted. I'm going to get my hair on the bust that they have for the Hall of Fame."