Report: Patriots Hosting Steelers Restricted Free Agent WR Emmanuel Sanders For A Visit

According to Adam Schefter on Twitter, the New England Patriots are hosting Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders for a visit on Friday.

Sanders was issued a $1.323 million original round tender last week. That means if he were to sign an offer sheet with the Patriots, and the Steelers not match it, Pittsburgh would receive a third round draft pick as compensation.

Restricted free agents aren\’t normally targets of other teams because of the time and compensation involved. The Steelers would have a week to decide whether or not they want to match an offer should Sanders receive one.

The Patriots, if they have the cap space, could easily construct a contract offer in a manner that the Steelers couldn\’t match because of first year salary hit limitations.

The Patriots, however, only have one third-round pick this year and no picks after that until the seventh round.

  • Ben Hardy

    Patriots have a ton of cap space.

  • Let’s hope he does not sign with the Pats. They better have Breaston on speed dial if he does.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Gotta stick with the Steelers on this one. All these free agents gave us an 8-8 season so are they really worth keeping for the same possible results?

  • Isaac Reveles

    if we lose him draft ryan swope.

  • mlc43

    I’m not sure what the Pats would want with Sanders after signing Amendola (sp). Who knows but it would suck to lose him but as Douglas said below….they only gave us an 8-8 season last year.

  • RW

    I hope he doesn’t go – I’d really like not to have to groom another receiver when CB just became a draft priority. Seems like we need to hit on CB, MLB, WR and RB this year and the CB, WR and RB should expect to see some reasonable playing time if we’re to win more than 8 games. Really wish we had signed Shonn Greene now – 3 years 10 mil would have been well worth it.

  • westernsteel

    Breaston? He’s not much of a threat at his position. If he was, he’d be signed by now.

  • Kysteeler

    Pats only have draft picks 1,2,3 and 7 in this years draft. Having a 3rd wouldn’t be bad, in that we could trade up using other picks. Sanders isn’t a world beater, a top pick could replace his production. I don’t think Sanders upside is very high.

  • Jollyrob68

    patriots only have three draft picks Rd 1,2,3 only. I doubt Bill B is going to sign Sanders. However he would be better and more experienced than anyone they get in the 3rd round of the draft.

    They also have two 7’s… Thanks Dave B

  • Jollyrob68

    Breaston has a nagging Knee. Teams are waiting to lower his price.

  • HumblyConceited

    this draft sucks in talent what exactly do you expect the Pats to get worth more than Sanders out of this draft?

  • Jollyrob68

    Yes the would because Amendola can play outside or inside just like Sanders but Bill B only has 1,2,3 & two 7’s picks in this draft. I’m a Steelers fan from New England and understand why he should sign him but dont think he will. At least not yet. They’ll wait until the Steelers are in cap trouble. Steelers still are 3 million under if they haven’t signed anyone else as of yet.

  • westernsteel

    No way the Steelers go into the season with Burress, Cotchery, and Breaston.

  • zyzak

    Not irreplaceable

  • Jollyrob68

    I want The Steelers to SIgn Darius Heyward Bey and cut or paycut whom ever for the room. Cutting Ike saves 7 million or have him take paycut, Just saying.

  • steeltown

    I’m not sure how dead set the Steelers are on drafting a WR early, but If this were to happen I would imagine the Steelers would then really target one of the top WR’s in the early Rds… maybe Patton, Hunter or Hopkins… would love to get one of these guys

  • grw1960

    Sanders is actually very good. Sanders biggest problem is staying healthy enough to play 16 games.

  • Rubem Dornas

    I respect your opinion but totally disagree. CB is not a draft priority and Sanders is struggling to keep healthy. He has serious foot problems. He does good routes but can’t keep the ball with him. IMO he’s just better than Limas Sweed. Please Patriots, sign him!
    MLB? Are Steelers switching to 4-3? Didn’t know that.

  • steeltown

    We just lost K.Lewis and you want to cut Ike Taylor? way

  • steeltown

    Add A.Brown and an early draft pick… it’s possible

  • Breaston would be perfect fit for Haleys slot position….IF he is healthy and willing to take less money. The reason he is not signed yet has to do with one or the other or both. I think Jennings is still out there too unless he signed in the last day or so.

  • Dan

    Oh I think we do need to keep Sanders. Not at a high price, as he may have some injury issues and he did have some drops last year, but I wouldn’t trade him for a late 3rd round pick. We will need to draft a WR even if we keep Sanders. If we lose Sanders then that increases our pressure to make WR an early pick or look at FAs. If we keep him, then we can more comfortably pick the best athlete available from WR, DB, RB, TE or either line.

  • Not worried. I don’t think the Pats are willing to part with a 3rd rounder for him.

  • Jollyrob68

    Yes he’s 33 and they can money. I’d prefer he took a pay cut but either way they’ll need more money to match Bill B

  • Maurice_hill_district

    This is part of the fallout of Pats losin Wes Welker. Amiandola (sp) is unproven, Emmanuel Sanders is not as tough as Welker.

  • Jollyrob68

    If we got their 3rd I wouldn’t trade up I’d keep it and fill one of the holes

  • HarryBackside

    NE only has 5 picks in this years draft, and two are in the seventh round, so giving up a 3rd round pick will be pricey for them

    Maybe they prefer to trade? Ridley for Sanders?

  • HarryBackside

    Exactly. If they were going to cut Ike, it would have been to keep Lewis.

  • steeltown


  • steeltown

    I can agree with a possible paycut.. him and Polamalu… but we cant cut Ike

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Not sure the scope of his injury, but Breaston would be a nice option in Haley’s Offense.. and he can return kicks

  • steeltown


    Now that I would do!

  • Fu-Schnickens

    Rubem, how in the world is CB not a draft priority what with losing Lewis to the ‘Aints? You really like William Gay as your starting nickel CB? Let’s go one step further and say that, like every year, either Tayler or Allen gets injured…please do tell who’s going to be your next “go-to” starting CB. Go ahead….reach deep!

  • Yeah, he must have had something in his knee that they saw when they brought him in. I think they were pretty set on signing him before that. He supposedly went to specialist and does not need any special procedures done and the Steelers just put him on the back burner for now to see how free agency shapes out. depending on what happens with Sanders, I think it is very possible they take another look at him.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I actually agree with you on Sanders but disagree on CB. Sanders is okay “when he’s healthy”. But you cannot extend him a long term contract when he can’t stay on the field. At least Wallace played every Sunday. I’d take the Pats 3rd rounder in a heartbeat.

    As for CB, I’m not saying it’s priority number one, but in today’s NFL you just cannot succeed (in the playoffs) without great corners. Ike is in his last year IMO. Willie Gay and C. Brown and J. Victorian are strictly nickel backs IMO (and short nickel backs at that). All we have on the edges is Allen and Van Dyke. If we draft an elite CB like Xavier Rhodes, then he and Allen can cover the top 2 WRs one on one. (And here is the key…) That frees up our safeties to roam and make plays instead of always helping deep in double coverage (like they have to with Gay, Brown, Victorian, etc).

  • NW86

    Question: Do the Steelers really have to match the exact structure of the deal, or can they play with salary and bonus amounts as long as he gets just as much per year and just as much guaranteed money?

    Example: Since the Pats know the Steelers are in salary cap trouble right now, they could offer him a 5 year deal with a $2.5M signing bonus and $5M salary. This would mean a $5.5M cap hit in 2013, which the Steelers can’t do. However, the Steelers COULD give him a $6.5M signing bonus and $1M salary. This still pays him $7.5M guaranteed in year 1, but the cap hit in year 1 is only $2.3M.

  • LucasY59

    If Sanders does get an offer the Steelers cant match, I think a player the Steelers could go after is Danario Alexander from the Chargers, he was given a original rd tender (but was undrafted) so as long as the Chargers dont match the offer the steelers dont have to give up a draft pick.(I know the steelers dont outbid anyone so its not at all likely, but is something to think about)
    also if they lose Sanders the draft stategy could change, I would be more willing than before to go for a smaller/faster WR like Ryan Swope or Tavon Austin. If we keep Sanders I dont see how either of those guys fit with Brown and Sanders

  • steeltown

    Definitely.. and his cost should be pretty low

  • Intropy

    The rule is that the Steelers have a right to match. That’s part of being restricted. If they can’t match the exact contract, they’re still free to make an offer. Nothing anywhere says Sanders has to take an unmatched external offer over either another Steelers offer or even the original tender. Basically an RFA can take any offer made for him with the exception that if two are identical he has to take the team owning the rights.

  • LouPGH

    I like Sanders, and I would be less confident in our passing game without him this season; however, how many of you can say with any confidence the Steelers are likely to resign him next year? If you believe we’re in the middle of a few rebuilding years, then getting something in exchange for him now isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  • LouPGH

    That said, he’s had a lot of bad luck with injuries and losing his mother in the middle of the season. I really want him to have a break out year (and then give the Steelers a discount for believing in him).

  • RW

    Kind of a dbag response here. MLB, ILB, the distinguishing features aren’t substantial. Also, CB is a draft priority, whether we have two starters or not. And the WRs in this year’s draft are underwhelming. I’d take Sanders over most of them, foot problems and all.