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.

  • steeltown

    Strange.. “It wasnt about the money”… but…”its business, it’s nothing personal”

    I like you Emmanuel, but that seems alittle hypocritical

  • Kevin Gobleck

    He kinda didn’t make sense how is it business if its not about the money, and your starting here anyways?

  • r4kolb

    Thank you very much Mr. Average receiver!!!! How about you surprise us all and stay healthy for a whole season. Oh yeah Mr. Valuable last year you had 1 TD and 2 fumbles. You also have 5 TD’s in your 3 year career with the Steelers. Wow your awesome. I’m going to nickname you Mr. Redzone.

  • zyzak

    Well now, the pressure is on him to perform at a very high level. The better he does the more money he’ll get, but it won’t be from the Steelers. He pushed them into a corner and they had to match. I like the kid but I do not care who catches passes for the Steelers as long as they win games. These guys are paid entertainers and not playing to be a fan favorite, those days are gone

  • Eric MacLaurin

    It’s sad that a player has to make excuses for signing a free agent deal in this town. It’s hard to comprehend a sane person feeling so entitled.

  • george

    Would you turn down an extra million to stay in pittsburgh one year?

  • steeltown

    In the end, I wish him success, regardless of whether he’s a Steeler in 2014 or not. Help us this year Emmanuel and I’ll be happy, help us help you.. and you’ll be happy

  • SteelerDave

    I see us drafting a 1st to 3rd round receiver next years draft and Wheaton moving into a starting role with Sanders gone as a free agent. Potential WR picks I like would include Jordan Mathews round 1 but would likely take a trading up to snag him; Jared Abbrederis round 2 and Tracy Moore round 3.

  • 2443scott

    i agree with sanders it wasnt personal and wasnt about the team ,that team stuff is over in nfl i hate it that its gone but the nfl made it about money there is no loyalty left in nfl ,and as for sanders to say it wasnt the money is foolish ,its so hard now a days to be a fan and support nfl players because they will leave one team for another in the blink of a eye .gone are the days i took less money to stay with my team so we can win a superbowl , now its pay me my money and for get the team stuff and if i win superbowl great if not i will collect more money from another team and try again ,i am glad steelers got such a strong fan base at lease we can be a team and give our all for guys who are here our support ,are not many teams out there with that type fan base .

  • zyzak


  • TheBlitz

    “It wasn’t about the money” in the sense that he preferred to play for New England and not any other teams that were interested (if it’s true) even if they offered more money (if it’s true) because he understood the opportunity of playing with New England. Better to play with Tom Brady than Mark Sanchez and the Jets for example.

    “It’s business and not personal” in the sense that he wasn’t trying to stick it to the fans or Pittsburgh Steelers. No ill-feelings for the organisation. Just a business decisions per the CBA.

    I think that’s how we have to look at it when put within the context and the timing of the questions and how they are answered. Of course making an extra millions doesn’t hurt. He did not seek NE. He still had more than enough time to sign. He didn’t hold out like MW. And there is no reason to say that if he can answer the question within its context.

  • steeltown

    I cant honestly say… but If I didnt, I dont think I could honestly say it wasnt about the money

  • NW86


  • Andrew

    Is it too much to read into how Emmanuel only mentioned Dwyer when forced to support the current RB group?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I actually lean toward Sanders on this one. In the off season before his final contract year (last year) the Steelers did not offer him a long term deal. This off season… No deal. Since the tender… No deal. (At least none that was reported in the press.) How is Sanders supposed to interpret this? How badly do the Steelers want him?

    The Patriots were willing to give up their 3rd round pick (even though they were short on picks) and most likely sign him to a multi year immediately thereafter. That sounds to me like they wanted him pretty bad.

    I still don’t know about Colbert’s decision on this one. Guess which guy was drafted the pick after the Patriots 3rd rounder?… (Stedman Bailey)

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    They should not break the bank signing Sanders to an extension, but the Steelers need to use some of what’s left of the Colon money to sign some of next year’s unrestricteds.

    For Sanders, I’d give him a very small bonus this year plus his $2.5. I’d then have a roster bonus for next season of about $5m with the contract eventually totaling around $15m for this season plus 4 more. (If you want to inflate the total value and make it look better you could backload the last year or 2 and call it a 5 yr $20m deal.)

  • It is a perfect scenario for us fans and the Team because if he wants paid, he is going to HAVE to play way above his line which I honestly think is a 2nd or 3rd WR. How much are 2nd and 3rd WR’s paid these days?? About as much as a 2nd or 3rd QB, RB, TE ect.

  • Bradys_Dad

    When they say it’s a sport – you call it a business, when they say it’s business – you call it a sport. Gimme a break.

  • sean mcmartin

    The steelers could have drafted two Lb’s in the third or Eiffert.
    This guy is gone next year.
    He said “Its not about the team” Hope haley sends him up the middle every play.

  • alex

    aint a lotta people in that position that would pass up $2.5M and Tom Brady…if you did, your dumb…and now the best thing for you to do mr. sanders, is play your posterior off and maybe we come to a deal…maybe 8 games into the season when were 6-2 and you got 40/600/4 in the bucket…

  • Shelob9

    You can all complain once you’ve past up the opportunity to do the same job for 1.2 million more a year.

  • Garrett Hunt

    The only receiver worth trading up in the first next year is Sammy Watkins