WR Emmanuel Sanders Not Surprised Steelers Matched Patriots Offer Sheet

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a guest on ESPN First Take Wednesday morning and he let it be known that he wasn\’t surprised Pittsburgh matched the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet that he signed with the New England Patriots a few weeks ago. In addition, Sanders also said that he is happy to now be a starter with the Steelers in 2013.

“It was a win-win situation,” said Sanders, who is entering his fourth season with the Steelers. “I wasn\’t surprised [that Pittsburgh matched the offer]. I know my talent. I\’m really good when I get the opportunity.”

Sanders, who was restricted tendered at an original round level of $1.323 million, will now more than likely start opposite Antonio Brown after Mike Wallace signed with the Miami Dolphins at the start of the free agency signing period.

“It wasn\’t about the money,” Sanders claimed. “I play the game because I love the game. … I realized I was valuable. A lot of teams got to calling my agent at the 4 p.m. deadline, and I took a step back and I had the New England Patriots and other teams, and I wanted to play for New England.”

As far as his decision to sign the Patriots offer sheet to begin, Sanders indicated that it was business decision and nothing personal.

“I had to make the best decision for Emmanuel,” he said. “And that\’s what Mike Wallace had to do. It\’s never about the team. Mike loves the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I love the Pittsburgh Steelers. It\’s business, it\’s nothing personal.

“I\’m happy but I\’m sad that [Wallace] is gone, because that\’s my brother. We came in together, we worked hard together. But at the same time, I\’m looking forward to being a starter.”

This was clearly a business decision and Sanders got himself a nice little raise as a result of things. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert recently said that he hasn\’t ruled out the possibility of signing Sanders to an extension, but with the Steelers drafting two wide receivers in the draft this past weekend, they seem to be prepared if that extension doesn\’t come to fruition.