Report: ‘Expect’ Steelers to keep Emmanuel Sanders
Posted by Mike Wilkening on April 10, 2013, 12:08 PM EDT
http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.word...8163.jpg?w=244 Getty ImagesIt may be a little early to start wondering what number Emmanuel Sanders will wear in New England.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Wednesday that he expects the Steelers to match the Patriots’ offer sheet to Sanders, keeping the wide receiver in the fold.
Were the Steelers to decline to match the offer to Sanders, they would receive the Pats’ third-round pick (No. 91 overall). While this would be a cost-efficient move, it would also leave the Steelers rather thin at wide receiver behind top target Antonio Brown. The Steelers lost Mike Wallace to Miami earlier in free agency, and Sanders is expected to move into the starting lineup after three seasons as a reserve.
Sanders hauled in 44 passes for 626 yards and one TD in 16 games (seven starts) for Pittsburgh in 2012. No matter where he plays in 2013, Sanders looks like a good bet to get more opportunities in the passing game than he ever has.
Werder’s tweet suggests that the fourth-year wideout from SMU isn’t going anywhere, which figures to make Ben Roethlisberger happy.
Analysis: Emmanuel Sanders offer
April, 10, 2013 11:55AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
The Patriots' one-year offer sheet to Steelers restricted free agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders (financial terms not known) is fascinating on multiple levels.
1. Connections to 2004 offer sheet. This reminds me of the 2004 offer sheet that Steelers restricted free agent defensive lineman Rodney Bailey signed with the Patriots (1 year, $1.3 million, $650,000 guaranteed). The Steelers didnít match and received the Patriotsí sixth-round draft choice in return. With Bailey, the Patriots didnít put together an offer sheet that would be hard to match financially. The hope was that the Steelers, philosophically, would see more value in the sixth-round pick than the one-year increased salary to a player they were somewhat cool on at the time. Based on tweets from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, who is the best in the business, the situation with Sanders mirrors what unfolded with Bailey in 2004.
2. Potential fit in Patriots offense. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Sanders has flexibility to line up in a variety of spots, but his primary value to the Patriots would be on the outside. That's where the glaring need remains for the Patriots.
3. Could be quiet on draft day. The Patriots currently have five draft choices. If the Steelers donít match the offer sheet to Sanders, the Patriots would surrender their third-round draft choice to Pittsburgh. A draft in which Bill Belichick entered with just four selections -- it would be a first-round pick, second-round pick and two seventh-rounders if Pittsburgh doesn't match -- is a stunning turn from the norm when heís usually overstocked with draft-chip ammunition.
4. Track record at receiver a factor for Patriots. The Patriotsí track record of drafting and developing receivers out of college is shaky. Having seen three years of Sanders in the NFL probably gives the club more comfort in making this move, which reminds us of something Bill Belichick said at the NFLís annual meeting in March: ďAs Iíve said many times before, I think the college passing game is a lot different than the (pro) passing game so that it involves, pass protection, pass rush, pass execution and pass defense. So, we all look at the same film. Weíre all trying to evaluate the same players. But, itís a lot easier to watch a guy in the NFL perform and translate his skills for your team than watch a guy in college perform because of the discrepancy in the passing game. Itís nobodyís fault. Thatís just the way it is.íí
5. Economics can't be overlooked. From an economic perspective, the Patriotsí willingness to give up a cheaper four-year rookie deal that would go to a third-round pick Ė and take on a more lucrative one-year deal in its place -- is telling. In part, it speaks to their need at receiver. It also should be noted that their discipline in managing the salary cap provides them the opportunity to think along these lines.
6. Interest in Sanders always legit. When the Patriots hosted Sanders on a visit last month, some viewed it as a potential leverage play against veteran receiver Brandon Lloyd, who was in talks with the club to reduce his salary. That obviously wasnít the case. There was genuine interest in Sanders in part because of how the Patriots viewed he could fit in their system based on their tape study from his time with the Steelers. Always was.
Pat have agreed with Julian Edelman also cbs is reporting. So now they have Edelman ,Amendola, Did Lyord restructure to stay? and I think one other person was brought in. Think Sanders signed this sheet to force Steelers to address his contract. He better becareful because he may go to a teams with alot of WR and not get as much action as he was gonna get in the Burgh.
old money>>>young money
If the Steelers do not match, how many change their minds on Tavon Austin in the first? I was opposed due to his size because I wasn't keen on 3 smaller WRs. Different story if Sanders is allowed to leave.
I really find myself hoping that the Steelers do not match. I think any rookie will likely be at least a moderate downgrade from Sanders for 2013, but could easily replicate what he brings in the future. His 6 catch, 81 yard game in the playoffs against the Broncos was easily the best of his Steelers career. He has never had a 100 yard game. I know that he is supposed to be a good route runner and has ok speed, but I think he is a low end #2 or high end #3, at best. You can find a marginal starter or good #3 in the third round, and it would give the Steelers another young, cost controlled player.
If I was the Steelers, I would sign Breaston (if healthy), let Sanders walk, and spend a high pick on a WR.
sweet news. take the 3rd round pick and never look back
Before jumping on the bandwagon to take the third one might want to consider a rookie WR rarely makes immediate impact and needs time to learn the system and routes. Beside that Plaxico and Cotchery haven't seen the field much in this new offense either so the only experience in Haley's offense is Brown.
I don't know if the Steelers will match the offer, but IMO we are taking steps backwards on offense if we don't.
The receiver position is one where in college you can get by from just being more athletic, bigger, or faster than the next guy. Once these guys make the jump to the NFL, things are much more complicated. First, the routes you typically run in a college system are far less complex (most of the time) and don’t do a great job of preparing you for the diverse schemes and routes in the NFL. In college, receivers will usually run digs, hooks, posts, and 9 routes (fly or a streak). Once you get to the pros receivers will see more option routes (which could involve up to three different routes) where they will have to adjust to the coverage and change their route in a split second. This is also why quickness and agility take precedence over sheer speed. Another reason why this is such a difficult position when transitioning to the pros is because of the complex dialogue used as well as the depth of the playbook. To become a starting receiver in the league you must also be strong and have the ability to block effectively.