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Looking At Why The Patriots Are Going After Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders


The New England Patriots are reportedly hosting Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a visit on Friday and here are some details associated with why they might be doing it, and the options that the Steelers have.

The Patriots have five draft picks in 2013 for starters. One in each of the first three rounds and two seventh round picks.

The loss of Wes Welker to Denver Broncos resulted in the Patriots signing Danny Amendola to fill his role. Outside of Amendola, they have a decision to make with Brandon Lloyd, who has a $3 million bonus due Saturday. Lloyd will also turn 32 in July.

Sanders, although he hasn\’t busted out just yet, is the best route runner that the Steelers have on their roster and one of the better blocking wide receivers in the league. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick certainly would love both of those qualities and it would allow him to focus on other areas of need in the draft.

Belichick is also known for dealing picks on draft day. It would not be surprising to see him trade his first round pick in an effort to acquire a few more mid round draft picks. If that winds up being unsuccessful, he would at least have the receiver need covered.

The Patriots could easily construct a deal that would be front loaded enough in 2013 from a cap standpoint that the Steelers would have a hard time matching it without cutting another player or restructuring another contract. Something with a $3 million or more cap hit in 2013 would likely do the trick.

The Steelers would of course receive the Patriots third round draft pick as compensation, but would have yet another hole to fill at the wide receiver position with Mike Wallace also leaving a few days ago via free agency.

At this point there is nothing that the Steelers can do but wait and see if the Patriots sign him to an offer sheet. Sure they could try to get his agent on the phone and try to work out an extension quickly, but that would be mighty reactionary.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Brace yourselves Steeler Nation

    Sanders might be gone… but again, its our own fault, even Dave said weeks ago that they should consider giving Sanders an extension.

    If he goes, I see an early draft pick used at WR this year.. and rightfully so, as well as Breaston signing a 1-2yr deal

  • disqus_IMFAxsy04W

    entire 3 round it’s for steelers ? #wallace #sanders #lewis

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    If the Steelers need to choose between Sanders or Polamalu/Keisel/Taylor they need to choose youth.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Yup, may even draft a couple WRs if he goes to the Pats…

  • steeltown

    You’re joking right? We have no other Safety to replace Polamalu and we just lost K.Lewis, so we need Taylor now more than ever

  • Ben Hardy

    Not all bad from a draft standpoint. Lose Sanders and you now have 2 3rd round picks. Say you can find a suitor and trade down farther in the 1st and pick up another 3rd round pick. So now you have 3 3rd round pics. There is a lot of good 3rd round talent this year so you can keep the picks or use one of the 3rds and packaged it with a later round pic and move up in the 2nd round while keeping 2 3rd picks. Losing Sanders would suck but it wouldn’t be all bad if the draft pick they replace him with and the pick they gain become good quality starters.

  • Jollyrob68

    They have cb’s and would save 7 million. They can draft one or sign a veteran like Bret Grimes.

  • Jollyrob68

    Draft a couple anyway

  • Jollyrob68

    I thought they would of asked all 3 for paycuts

  • steeltown

    Keisel is making chump change compared to the other two

  • steeltown

    Positive thoughts my man, I agree.. I really really like Sanders, but it is what it is.. and you are right there is a TON of 2nd and 3rd Rd talent this year, whether its RB’s, WR’s or Safety prospects

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Yes, and the Steelers keep bringing back Gilreath so I guess he is in the mix as well since he plays STs.

  • steeltown

    I like Gilreath… dude was special teams phenom in college, he’s just undersized, but great hands

  • Superdriller316

    Like Kevin said, we’re not married to anyone. If he goes I hope the best for him. There is a lot of third round talent this year, and I could see the Steelers take (2) 6’2″+ WR in the 3rd. Best yet try and trade back in the 1st and pick up another 3rd and then use it to trade up for a second 2nd round pick. So then we would have a late 1, (2) 2′s, (2) 3′s, 4, 5, 6, and (2) 7′s. that’s 10 picks, that’s a lot of holes filled.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    As long as we draft Austin I’m ok with that

  • TsarPepe

    This year’s draft is “back-loaded,” and so there will be many teams looking to trade back. The opportunities will be few and far between.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Incorrect. We will have additional 3rd round this year if sanders sign with Patriots. We are likely to have two 3rd round compensatory picks next year for both Lewis and Wallace with an additional for Mendenhall where in draft, I don’t know.

  • http://twitter.com/softdrums Shea Fahr

    Agreed!,,and everyone seems to want to forget about him and I don’t understand why.

  • TJimmy

    The lack of confidence in their own draft picks is hurting the team with the loss of Keenan and now maybe Sanders heading to the Wiley Patriots.

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    I understand and don’t like the choices, but there are not easy answers available to the Steelers and they can’t afford to lose a good young player like Sanders, if the contract is reasonable. The best case is that veterans take pay cuts. Worst case is they are replaced less expensive veterans.

  • hergieburbur

    They have two starting quality CBs on the roster, and one of those is questionable. The other is 33. They can’t cut Ike, that ship sailed yesterday.

  • Jack

    That’s not exactly how it works. The comp picks are given for total loss vs. total gain. There is almost no chance that Keenan Lewis nets the Steelers a 3rd round pick. Wallace could.

  • hergieburbur

    The only FA gain we have so far is for Gradkowski though, and his PT won’t likely be enough to offset the loss of either starter.

    Wallace should net a 3rd either way considering he was a starter most of his career.

  • hergieburbur

    Why they are going after him should be clear. They have Amendola, maybe Lloyd, who could also be cut due to salary, poor performance, and being an ass in the locker room, and then… Yeah that’s it.

    We just have to hope they aren’t willing to give up their 3rd when they have only a few picks this year.

  • TrueSteelerForLife

    I think this sucks. I wouldn’t want to lose Sanders for a third round pick, especially one at the end of the round. From what I understood, restricted FA’s didn’t usually get touched as a rule of respect in the NFL, but leave it up to Belichek and McDaniells to do something shitty. I really hope it’s all smoke and we get Sanders back in the end, but what Belichek is doing is just so bitchmade, that it makes me wanna run across his face with a switchblade.

  • hergieburbur

    Yeah really, as if BB has any respect for anyone else in the NFL. If they lose Sanders, it’s their own fault for not trying to extend him, but Bellichek is still a douche.

  • Dan

    This scheduled visit could also be a bit of leverage while they let Lloyd contemplate the salary reduction. Wonder if NE flies him economy or 1st class? I’m sure Kraft didn’t send a private jet.

  • Kyle Owens

    It’s better to get a 3rd pick for him now instead of letting him walk in free agency next year. I just don’t want the Steelers to sign this guy to any sort of long term deal. Giving guys money before they actually earned is a terrible mistake. (See Antonio Brown )

  • Bradys_Dad

    So much for the “dumb” I mean young money crew

  • http://twitter.com/shot896 JayJaySessions

    If the steelers lose Emmanuel Sanders to Pats, they might also lose Isaac Redman to another team. I think Sanders will be a good starter. Steelers got to fine a way to keep him.

  • pat

    What about bringing Randy Moss for a 1 yr deal. And why do I constantly see ppl bashing on Ike Taylor dude has played great and was probowler til his injury

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Hence why I said “likely”. It is a wishful thinking to have this confirmed as if we will get all three comp picks within three rounds. We can only dream lol if that’s the case- imagine how many Ravens will get! Ouch

  • steeltown

    I dont understand it either, people bash Ike and Larry Foote all the time… Foote isnt as fast as he once was, but he was impressive last season as the full time starter, he far exceeded my expectations

  • Jack

    No chance a team ends up with 2 3rd round comp picks. It isn’t even likely there are 2 3rd round picks awarded, let alone to the same team. It has never happened and the Steelers won’t be the first. I would bet anything on it. Anything. The formula is almost all determined by contract value and the “top offsets” are a very wide group, not just the huge money guys. Gradkowski will likely wipe out Lewis, but if not, will assuredly wipe out Mendenhall. If (likely) the Steelers sign someone like Victor Butler, then he will likely wipe out Lewis.

    Probably the best the Steelers can hope for (assuming at least one more likely signing like Butler) is a 3rd for Wallace and a net performance loss of a 7th rounder. Don’t sign anyone else and maybe it is a 3rd and a 5th. Absolutely no chance at 2 3rd rounders. None. The Steelers are most likely to end up with picks like the Chiefs got this year: 1 3rd and 1 6th. The Ravens had a much bigger net loss last year, than the Steelers this year, and only got a 4th, 5th, and 7th.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Yes but its all come down to perceptions… what we see, doesn’t mean rest of league see same thing. I know it is unlikely, but like I said, we can only dream.

  • Jack

    What do you mean? It is a formula. What the rest of the league sees doesn’t have a thing to do with it. “Perceptions” have absolutely nothing to do with it. You said it was likely the Steelers get 2 3rd round compensatory picks, but you didn’t know for Mendenhall. It is unlikely (like you are saying now) and I said as much.

    Perhaps you just are not familiar with what “likely” means.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    League perceived mike wallace as biggest free agent. I can assure you rest of us think otherwise. There isn’t really a formula. If this formula of yours exist, we’d get nothing for Willie Gay due to Cortez Allen’s production. Just saying.

  • Jack

    No, you have no idea what you are talking about. The NFL uses a formula to determine compensatory picks. They do not release the exact formula, but they do explain the basic tenets. With that, plus the results several people have been able to model and project over the years. The perception of the player has nothing to do with it and a draft pick’s production has absolutely nothing to do with a FA loss.

    The formula is almost entirely based on yearly contract value of FAs X, Y, and Z lost and FAs (but not who have been cut) X, Y, and Z gained. There is very little production value added, but some and it is only contingent on the production of the outgoing FAs vs. the incoming FAs. Draft picks and other replacements do not factor in at all to the formula. 0%. The fact that you think there might be, shows you are way off base here.

    This isn’t a “I disagree with you” thing. It is a “you just don’t know what you are talking about” thing and each impending response sheds more light onto that fact.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Cool story, bro. Did you just came with this or copied and pasted the whole thing? Ha

  • Jack

    No, that is just the truth. You have no idea what you are talking about. You shouldn’t attempt to correct people when you have no idea what you are talking about and do not even understand the definition of the word “likely.”

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    Or I actually know what I’m talking about but am ridiculed by somebody like you. So I am no longer in interest of interacting with daggers. If you really are arguing the probabilities, then you got issues man. Formula does exist, but not always appliable. To every rules in NFL, there is always exceptions.

  • Jack

    No. You said league perception matters. It doesn’t. You said “there really isn’t a formula” and that is wrong. You said (in the same post) “hence why i said ‘likely’” and “we can only dream lol” even though those things are contradictory. You said “If this formula of yours exist, we’d get nothing for Willie Gay due to Cortez Allen’s production.” That is completely wrong because players acquired via any means other than through scheduled free agency do not factor in. Not their signing/drafting or production. Now you are saying “formula does exist, but not always appli(c)able” and that is wrong.

    There are no daggers. You said someone was incorrect and posted as if you knew what you were talking about. I responded that your assertions were, at a minimum, off base. You responded and proved you had absolutely no idea what you were talking about and were confused as to what the word “likely” actually meant. You have consistently proven that and continued to contradict yourself in each subsequent post.

    I am not putting you down. I am pointing out the truth. You obviously have a hard time coming to grips with that.

  • Alexander Sebastian Heath

    You do realize that when talking about probabilities, you and I both can’t be right at all right? I said likely, yes I did. But that’s a speculation just like yours. We wouldn’t know until such addition is made in free agency or the production of players that we lost. You, sir seem to have a hard time understanding that its ALL speculations with my estimate of probabilties and you really are arguing because of the formula WHICH apply to the aftermath that haven’t happened so it seem like you are only trying to pick fights because.. you are bored? Sad, bro.

    Okay, if you know something about formula, then you know this: the concept of this playing field is to give teams in salary cap hell or bad situation when they have to let newly ufa go because when they were rfa, teams are still able to give them tender to sign.

    You are arguing that formula is always in place, no that’s not necessary. We got a 5th round comp. For Alan Faneca when we shouldn’t. We let him go after his extension with the team. Because the league perceive his loss as a bigger factor so we got the 5th round comp. (A 5th round pick isn’t that big of a pick) formula is structured based on contract meeting production but not always production are biggest factor. Reputations too, I’m guessing that’s why we got the pick for Alan Faneca, as many know this; he didn’t really have a good year with Jets afterward.

    Next time try picking a fight with somebody of lesser knowledge.

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