The 46-year-old was suspended by the network after the 2006 incident for then-undisclosed reasons. His admission comes after long-running speculation in the blogoshpere about his conduct, which spiraled into a contentious back-and-forth with Deadspin.
"I was ashamed, and I didn't want to say anything," says Salisbury, who was an NFL quarterback for eight years and an NFL analyst for 12. "I thought it would go away and let my ego get in the way. Since then, I've beat myself up about it more than 10 baseball bats could. A stupid mistake can cost you, and this has really cost me. I should have been having this conversation a long time ago."
Salisbury said that the cellphone incident wasn't specifically cited when his contract wasn't renewed by the worldwide leader in 2008.
As you might imagine, the scandal has taken a heavy toll on John Clayton's former foil.
He was asked in a Deadspin interview posted Aug. 14, 2008, if he "took a picture of your genitals on your cellphone and showed it around" and whether such "rumors" were "remotely true."
Salisbury's response: "I haven't addressed it because it's so absurd and such a bald-faced lie from what the speculation is out there from media outlets and Internet and bloggers that hop on and want to beat you up because they don't like my opinion in football. It never happened."
Salisbury says the online buzz about his pictures had a devastating effect on his kids and put on hold on any national broadcasting comeback.
"It was stupid --dumb!-- but not malicious," he says. "How can it ruin a good career? ... I've gone from being on six days a week to disappearing. And it's not like I wanted to disappear. ... But it feels good getting it off my chest."