Sanders returned to the Reds in 2001, but was released after playing in only 29 games and batting just . 173. Following his release from the Reds, he signed a minor league contract with the Syracuse Chiefs, the Toronto Blue Jays triple-A affiliate. Sanders was hitting . 252 for Syracuse before the Washington Redskins found a loophole in his contract which compelled him to return to the Redskins. Sanders' football contract had been negotiated to allow for him to play both baseball and football, but the terms of the contract stated that Sanders could miss NFL training camp and the first few games of the season only if he were playing Major League Baseball. Since he was not then on an MLB roster, Sanders had to leave Syracuse and return to the Redskins so he would not violate his NFL contract. But before arriving at training camp, Sanders informed Redskins personnel he was retiring from professional baseball. In his final professional baseball game, Sanders hit a solo home run and an RBI single in Syracuse's 12-6 win over the Toledo Mud Hens. As those in MLB and the NFL urged Sanders to concentrate on only one sport, he would often explain, "football is my wife and baseball is my mistress. "