Patriots Signing Of WR Michael Jenkins Has No Bearing On Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders Situation

The New England Patriots signed free-agent wide receiver Michael Jenkins on Thursday and now several are curious to know what this may mean for Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who visited the Patriots nearly two weeks ago.

Dale Lolley of the Washington Observer Reporter posted on Twitter that the Patriots signing of Jenkins means that they won\’t be signing Sanders to an offer sheet. I disagree with Lolley, and believe that the signing of Jenkins has absolutely nothing at all to do with the Sanders situation. It\’s entirely separate.

First, Jenkins will turn 31 in June, and it is hard to believe that the Patriots would give him much more than the minimum, regardless of the length of the deal, which has yet to be reported. That means after displacement in the Patriots Rule of 51, that their salary cap needle likely didn\’t even budge.

Second, Lolley seems to forget how many wide receivers that the Patriots signed last offseason. Remember the signings of Brandon Lloyd, Donte\’ Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, Anthony Gonzalez, Matthew Slater and Tiquan Underwood? The signing of Jenkins this offseason matches that same pattern and type. Have any of you seen the Patriots depth chart in the last few weeks? It was pretty much just Danny Amendola and Donald Jones prior to the addition of Jenkins.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my gut tells me that the Patriots will not wind up signing Sanders to an offer sheet by the April 19 deadline, but the signing of Jenkins on Thursday is no reason to run out and celebrate and let your guard down. The Patriots still have a ton of time and a ton of cap space to work with and the signing of Jenkins on Thursday changes none of that.

  • Chris92021

    Yes, I agree nothing is out of play…however, does Belichick really want to give up a 3rd round pick for Sanders? I think not.

  • TsarPepe

    I follow your logic, but the fact remains that they’ve been quiet on Sanders for way too long, while they signed Jenkins the same day.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s what I’m thinking as well. They’re probably not signing Colonel Sanders.

  • Nolrog

    Sanders will be back. If they were going to sign him, they’d have done so already.

  • Untitled

    I understand what you are saying as well, but I feel like if they really wanted him they wouldn’t take two weeks plus to do it

  • RMSteeler

    Manny finally got healthy in 2012 but pulled a disappearing act. Does Haley not like slot receivers, like Arians didn’t like FB and TE? Slot WR HAS to produce in ’13.

  • steeltown

    Sanders had almost double the yds (626) and receptions (44) in ’12 than in either of the previous two yrs and had his highest avg yds per catch season, not to mention 31 of his 44 receptions went for first downs… yes, he didnt have a ton of TD’s but lets face it, no one was scoring TD’s last season, that was half the problem and the main reason we went 8-8… 626yds from your #3 slot receiver is pretty good

  • steeltown

    I still get the feeling Sanders will be gone

  • JDR

    how is it the pats* can sign anybody and everybody they want? do they just not pay anyone except Brady? how does a team that has one player making nearly 20 mil(brady) always have enough cap room to sign whoever they want?

  • I think this means they won’t sign Sanders, but more so because they don’t want to part with the draft pick. Emmanuel has INSANE potential, which is what the Patriots probably see, but logically potential isn’t worth a third round pick at this point. So I am hoping Manny stays with us and comes full circle in Pittsburgh. We NEED him to help replace Wallace and realize his potential.