The New England Patriots are looking to go young at the wide receiver position, as they have signed Donald Jones of the Buffalo Bills and Danny Amendola of the St. Louis Rams. Yesterday, the Patriots decided to work out Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders in the hopes of adding a young deep threat to the team, and it sounds like they have indeed given Sanders an offer sheet. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sanders has signed an offer sheet with the Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Steelers tendered Sanders with an original round pick, which means that the New England Patriots would have to part ways with a third-round choice in the draft. While that is a pretty steep price, it is most likely worth it. Sanders is better than any wide receiver the Patriots could get in the third round, especially as far as stretching the field vertically goes. The Pats need a deep threat to add another dimension to their offense, and Sanders would be perfect in this role.
Last season, he averaged 14.2 yards per reception, and he has excellent speed over the top. Sanders can also work the intermediate game when needed, so he certainly isn’t a one-trick pony like former teammate Mike Wallace. He isn’t as good as Wallace, but he’s also not as expensive.
The Patriots wouldn’t have to pay much money to Sanders on an offer sheet, because the Steelers have cap issues and could have trouble matching their offer. Thus, the steepest price for the Patriots would be losing a third-round draft choice, and that would still be worth it for the Pats. Sanders is young enough, and he has plenty of talent. More importantly, he fits the Pats big need on offense of having a receiver with great speed downfield.
Keep a very close eye on the situation regarding Emmanuel Sanders, because the restricted free agent could be on his way to New England it the Steelers cannot match this offer.
Update, please read: It sounds like the Post-Gazette jumped the gun, because ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Patriots are “still mulling” whether or not they should sign Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet, so nothing has been signed nor have the Patriots come to a decision on whether or not it is worth giving the Steelers a third-round pick for Sanders. Stay tuned for more. Thank you.
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