Don\’t Expect Steelers To Match Patriots Offer Sheet To Emmanuel Sanders

Despite everything that you are currently reading from the major media, don\’t expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to match the one-year offer sheet that restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has now signed with the New England Patriots.

The offer is believed to be about $4 million and matching it would require perhaps an unwanted restructure or release of another player. The Steelers will more than likely take the Patriots third round draft pick as compensation and address the wide receiver position twice in the draft.

Even if the Steelers were to wind up matching the Sanders offer sheet, there would be no guarantee that they would be able to get him extended past this season. In other words, he could easily walk off next offseason as an unrestricted free agent.

The Steelers currently have wide receivers Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, Plaxico Burress, David Gilreath, Kashif Moore, Derek Moye and Bert Reed all under contract, and the additional $1.323 million in cap space that would be created would also allow another veteran such as Steve Breaston, assuming his knee checks out, to be signed for the minimum to compete for a roster spot.

The Steelers are almost certain to carry at least five wide receivers on the 53 man roster in 2013, so there could be as many as two wide receivers drafted later this month once Sanders is allowed to leave.

In his three years with the Steelers, Sanders has registered just four red zone touchdowns and caught six passes that were thrown more than 20 yards. While he was an excellent blocker and route runner, he is replaceable.

The Steelers are not ones to overpay wide receivers, and based on everything that Sanders has done up until this point, he is not worth a one-year, $4 million deal.

  • I agree let him walk and double dip in the draft, he could be gone at the end of the year anyway! Take the draft pick player for the next 3-4 years

  • **Poppin Bottles**

  • steeltown

    Agreed. I like Sanders, but the Steelers struggled in the redzone in 2012, they struggled scoring pts, that was one of the biggest issues last season. Sanders was fast and a good blocker, but never really a redzone threat

  • TsarPepe

    The Patriots are trying to put us on the ropes. I say, put THEM on the ropes. Take their 3d rounder, which would leave them without any picks from Rd. 2 to Rd. 6. That would be a pretty skinny draft. They will, as always try to trade that #1 pick, but something tells me that this year’s drafts is not a seller’s market. It is weak at the top, so many teams would look to trade down, creating too much supply, too little demand.

  • John Gabriel

    Absolutely agree. He has been in street clothes almost as much in uniform and I can recall a rememberable play form him. I wish him the best but I value that 3rd round pick much higher than his current value!

  • SteelerFanInMD

    Why would the Patriots give up a #3 pick if there is no guarantee that they will have him for more than 1 year?

  • I bet Plaxico Burress is in a great mood today!

  • DNore

    Personally, I will miss Manny. True, his TD celebration dance leaves something to be desired, and he had ball control issues for his minimal touches last year, but big money Mike and AB (and every running back) had issues too. He stepped up on returns occasionally, was a good 3rd down target, sealed the edge on quick screens well and blocked for everyone as asked, without the headache. I agree that $4M is too much for him especially in this financial environment the Steelers made for themselves, but his attitude and willingness and skill set will be missed. The worst part about this, he’s going to the $%#$#$ Pats

  • steeltown

    I dont know.. but I dont question their motives much, maybe they want to see him stay healthy for a full season and then they’ll extend him…?

  • steeltown


  • r4kolb

    I always felt he was one of the most overrated receivers on the team. I personally predict Gilreath given a chance will be better. Plus we save some cap space and get an extra pick to fill one of the many needs this team has. Saunders have fun with the Patsies and their crying little bitch QB. Just don’t drop a pass or he will bitch slap you.

  • Breaston is the most experienced available wr in Haley’s scheme and for the most part, thrived in it. It would be silly for the Steelers and He not to come to a Vet minimum agreement to come in and not only compete but show the young draftees how a WR fits in this system. (unless he is unable to pass physical)

  • I agree with you, Gilreath is very similiar to Sanders. Plus With 2 WRs coming in the draft. The Steelers will be fine. I was hoping New England would sign him to the offer sheet. I rather have a 3rd round pick……lol

  • I bet……hahaha

  • nikgreene

    Nice post. You make some really good points.

    I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but after all that has (apparently) gone badly for the Steelers this offseason, this the first time I have begun to wonder if we will be competitive in 2013. In Colber and Tomlin I trust, however, even if we have a great draft, it is likely that most of those players won’t make a huge impact until 2014-15. 10-6 and a WC seems like a dream scenario, with another 8-8 or even 7-9 season more than likely. Feel free to disagree, and hopefully I am proven wrong.

  • Mr. Cotchery breathing a slight sigh of relief as well..

  • nikgreene

    Funny, but I don’t see how Plax’ roster spot is any more assured. You figure two WR’s drafted, plus another 3-4 undrafted or FAs WRs. Plax doesn’t play special teams or have much in the way of long speed anymore. He’s a red zone weapon and that’s it.

  • Dan

    Yeah, I was hoping he’d stay at least so we didn’t lose two of our top WRs in the same year. When I heard it was a one year deal, I thought maybe it would be low enough to match, but certainly not at $4mil. I think Brown will be fine as a #1, but it would be nice to have more experience in the WR corps. I guess Cotch and Plax can count towards that a bit. So now we either get a Breaston or other FA, or really consider a WR in the first (but would be nice to have the option to pick one of the stud OGs or LBs instead if we consider Woods or another WR good enough to wait until the 2nd rd.)

  • steeltown

    Could you imagine A.Brown, (draft pick), Cotchery, Breaston and Burress.. it would be a pretty solid depth chart, plus you could possibly throw in Gilreath as return man and emergency WR

  • steeltown

    Anything is possible, including another season where we miss the playoffs, but I dont see the lose of E.Sanders having anything to do with it.

    Our biggest issue in 2012 was redzone offense, scoring points.. I’m sorry but Sanders was never a redzone threat. We were going to draft WR regardless, this would only make it more of need and/or push a couple players up and down the draft board

  • steeltown

    Agreed. He had a good skillset… but he is not worth the $5MIL we would have to pay him in 2013

  • nikgreene

    I agree. It’s not so much the loss (or anticipated loss) or Sanders that has me feeling this way, but more the accumulated loss of talent across the roster. Most of those players are obviously replaceable, but we’ll be replacing them with unproven commoditites. There is uncertainty at almost every position group besides QB, and now our WR corps is that much thinner.
    All that said, if the OL stays healthy (imagine that!), and some younger defensive players step up, a competitive season is likely.

  • Kyle Owens

    For the last 2 yrs Dave Bryan laid out the Mike Wallace situation and how it would play out and was right, so I’m inclined to lean towards his way on this one. Plus the Steelers the roster is a mess and almost void of any real playmakers so I’ll take all the draft picks we can get.

  • richard

    I hate to be the voice of reason here , Pittsburgh has no choice but to match the offer. Pittsburgh has no running game at all, the loss of 2 of the top 3 WR’s ( who knows when Miller will be ready) is basically a death sentence. Roethlisberger IS the Steelers offense, them letting all his weapons go is just plain stupidity. If you are a fan of the other teams in the Afc North you must love the idea of the Steelers Wr depth chart as 1-Brown 2- Cotchery 3- Burress, if your a Steelers fan like me then be very very worried.

  • steeltown

    You do know the draft is in 2weeks right?

    The WR depth chart will have a couple other names on there

  • David Edward

    Hi Rick, unfortunately matching the offer isn’t the voice of reason unless you are in favor of overpaying for a WR who may be gone next year anyway. Quite frankly, a reasonable voice would probably be this…at $1.5M Jericho Cotchery provides more value than Sanders @ $4M. Then, throw in an extra 3rd round pick and it’s no contest. They had to plan to draft a WR anyway. Now this sets them up to do so and still address other needs to with top picks (4 now in rounds 1-3)

  • 2 things at work here Rick…1. Steelers do NOT have a wallet thick enough right now to match 4 million for one year and even if they did, they probably would not anyway for Sanders. 2. Dwyer has about a 4.3 per carry average in what? 160-180 carries since he was drafted and he is only 23. He also wasted no time in signing his tender and knows very well why the team has spent top picks over the last few years on a mobile O-Line. The Steelers are currently positioning themselves to fill the much needed skill players on offense as well as the depth needed on defense this year.

  • Michael Mazanowski

    Can’t wait to see what talent falls to the Steelers at 91 (from NE) in the 3rd round!! I like Sanders but now the only thing to do is bid him farewell! Good luck ES!

  • David Edward

    I think this may set up a decent argument for drafting Eiffert @17. He is actually faster than Keenan Allen and 4″taller and 40lbs heavier. He can be used in multiple ways…inline at TE, in the slot, split out, in motion out of the backfield. He provides mismatches all over the field. Even if Heath makes it back all the way…imagine them two together. I also think Austin can be used in multiple ways too as a WR, out of backfield and as a returner…but he will likely be gone by 17.

  • This is gonna be a real fun draft to watch steeltown.

  • steeltown

    I dont understand why people assume WR’s cant play or produce their rookie years… its dumbfounding

  • JohnnyV1

    This is a tough, and not really simple. You think Big Ben plays through a broken nose after letting two of his receivers walk and his TE is still on the bench getting back to normal following a serious knee injury. The passing attack keeps them in games. On the other hand, if they feel a long-term deal is not possible w/ Sanders, then a 3rd Rd pick is the highest compensation they will get for him. Tough call for KC.

  • dennisdoubleday

    But he is a really good red zone weapon, something we’ve sorely lacked at the WR position.

  • good ol’ Fandom my friend…

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I’ve been telling people that about Gilreath. He will make the team just for ST.

  • Jazz

    Roethlisburger isn’t the offense; it’s that kind of arrogance the main reason that idiot gets hurt every year. HE SIMPLY TRIES TO DO TOO MUCH!

  • walter mason

    he is the offense, believe it

  • Mitchell Taylor

    UPDATE! Offer sheet is only for 2.5 mil that is barely an extra 1million which we can well afford. For that price and for his knowledge of our system we have to keep him, no question he will have to prove if he is worthy of more next year by producing this year. He will finally get his shot starting opposite AB. We will match this offer no doubt! You are right if it was 4 million for 1 year not worth it,

  • Rubem Dornas

    I can agree with that if we also draft a really good TE. Otherwise, two draft picks at WR. When the league begins, Cotchery, Breaston and Burress will sum 97 years old. Isn’t it too much experience?

  • steeltown

    I see the concern there, but lets face it, Cotchery and Breaston are right around the 30yr mark.. thats not that old, still a few productive yrs