Emmanuel Sanders is likely headed to Foxborough. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Sign Steelers Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders to RFA Offer Sheet

Well, it finally happened!

After weeks of waiting, the New England Patriots finally signed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a Restricted Free Agent offer sheet.

I can’t say that I blame Grumbledore & Co. for their ballsy gambit to acquire “Manny.”  They have a need at the wide receiver position, and Sanders was a solid contributor for the Steelers when he was healthy (94 catches, 1,290 yards, 5 touchdowns). 

I guess the Patriots really like the former S.M.U. Mustang, because they will have to give up a 3rd Round pick to the Steelers if Colbert & Co. are unable to match the offer sheet.  I should also add that if New England does acquire Manny, their front office will only have selections in the 1st, 2nd, and 7th Rounds in the upcoming draft.

The Steelers now have five days to match the Patriots offer to Sanders, and the cap-strapped franchise is unlikely to match what New England is likely to offer.  If Sanders does head to Foxborough, I believe that the move signals two important things:

 

  • The Steelers will almost assuredly select at least one wide receiver on Day 1 or Day 2 of “Draft Weekend.”

 

  • Pittsburgh’s brass will now have an extra “poker chip” to gamble with (91st overall pick) on Day 2 on the draft.

 

It’s a shame to see Sanders go, and “Young Money” is essentially “Gone Money” at this point with Antonio Brown being the only wide receiver left from the once promising group.  With Plaxico Burress and Jerricho Cotchery as the only other pass-catchers left on the roster with any experience, I for one would not be shocked to see Pittsburgh’s brass “double-dip” at wide receiver in this month’s draft.

In light of this news, I truly hate to be a “Negative Nancy.”  But I think that I can speak for most members of “Steeler Nation” when I say that this offseason has been one giant “kick in the nuts.”

 

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Tags: Emmanuel Sanders New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers

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