Former Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu called out the team after his release.
For as many times the New England Patriots have absolutely fleeced teams in trades during the Bill Belichick era, there has undeniably been a fair share of duds. The latest example of the latter was confirmed on Wednesday evening when the team released Mohamed Sanu, who they traded in exchange for a second-round pick at last year’s deadline.
On the surface, some fans might view this as a surprising move as Sanu was largely expected to be the Patriots’ most reliable wideout in 2020 aside from Julian Edelman , who is fresh off arguably his best season as a pro.
However, when you couple the 31-year-old wideout’s minimal production — 26 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown in eight games (six starts) after the trade — with the $6.5 million he was due this season, on top of his lackluster performance thus far at training camp, it really makes you ponder how his release didn’t happen sooner.
Surprisingly enough, Sanu is not of that mindset. Former ESPN insider Josina Anderson spoke with the former longtime Atlanta Falcon after the deal and he didn’t hesitate to call out Belichick, insisting that his axing came down to finances.
We get that Sanu is disgruntled. No professional athlete enjoys getting cut, especially in this instance as the Patriots would evidently rather roll with younger, inexperienced receivers over him. But to come at Belichick like this when the coaching staff gave him ample opportunities to put a stranglehold on the No. 2 WR spot is a little bit much.
All told, Sanu is probably right in thinking that his ousting came (mostly) down to money. Should the Patriots really be paying a receiver $6.5 million to drop routine passes and run ordinary routes while gearing up for the regular season? It’s duly noted that the Rutgers product had better practices after that disaster, but it was simply the cherry on top of an avalanche of reasons to cut bait with him.
We wish Sanu nothing but the best in his future endeavors, and he’ll likely land on his feet somewhere else before long, but it was clearly best for both sides to move on. It just would have been nice for the former third-round pick to see it that way too.
All told, the Patriots hung onto him this long to give him a chance in training camp and it’s easy to see he didn’t provide a strong enough case to grab a roster spot.