Emmanuel Sanders‘ agent, Jordan Woy, mentioned that the Patriots weren’t the only team to make his client an offer this offseason.
“We had several teams make offers in free agency so we know there are teams who really like Emmanuel,” said Woy, via the Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Woy mentioned that they’re open to discussing a long-term deal that would keep Sanders in Pittsburgh, but he also added that “it would have to be a very good deal for us to sign a multi-year agreement.”
With their current cap situation and Sanders seemingly comfortable playing out the season, it could end up being quite difficult for them to get him under contract long-term. Of course, they could always restructure more contracts such as that of S Troy Polamalu to free up some additional cap space, but they still could be forced to offer him a market value contract.
- Sanders agent, Jordan Woy, has confirmed that move.
- Ed Werder reports that the Steelers do not have any intention of trading Sanders.
- Albert Breer reports that the Steelers are open to signing Sanders to a long-term deal.
- Albert Breer reports that the Patriots didn’t have a long-term agreement in place with Sanders when they signed him to am offer sheet.
- Breer adds that most people around the league “don’t believe it.”
Sanders is the first restricted free agent in the past three seasons to receive an offer sheet, so this is a pretty rare situation.
He’ll receive a one-year deal worth $2.5 million for the upcoming season. Pittsburgh would have received a third-round pick in return for Sanders, who will be an unrestricted free agent next March, had they allowed him to sign with New England.
Sanders could still net them a fourth or fifth-round compensatory pick in 2015 if he were to sign elsewhere, assuming of course that Sanders doesn’t a reach an agreement on a long-term contract. Pittsburgh has some serious cap issues, so getting Sanders under contract won’t be easy.
According to ESPN’s John Clayton, the Steelers are split “50-50” as to whether or not they should match the Patriots offer sheet to restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders, or take the third-round pick.
Clayton adds that some within the Steelers organization would actually prefer the pick over Sanders.
If Pittsburgh were to allow Sanders to sign with New England, Clayton expects Jerricho Cotchery to be in the mix for a starting job this offseason.
The Steelers have the ability to match the Patriots one-year offer worth $2.5 million, but that would eliminate almost all of their available cap space. There’s been talk that S Troy Polamalu could be approach about restructuring his contract to free up some extra cap room at some point.
Pittsburgh only has a few days left to decide whether or not match the offer sheet.
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports spoke with an anonymous AFC executive who believes the Patriots will ultimately sign restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders to a long-term contract if the Steelers end up declining to match the offer sheet.
“I don’t believe for a second that Bill Belichick is giving up a third-round pick for Sanders for only one year,” said the executive. “Yeah, if it was October and you were desperate for a specific guy because you thought he would make a difference, maybe. But Sanders isn’t that type of guy. Nice potential, he has flashed some ability, but you don’t do this.”
Reports have indicated that the Patriots current offer sheet is a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
Pittsburgh only has five days to work out a deal with Sanders, which could end up being a big issue if they were hoping to lock him up long-term. The Patriots, on the other, may already have a multi-year agreement in place, which would leave Sanders and his agent some leverage in contract talks regarding this kind of extension.
That means the Steelers could be forced to decide between taking a third-round pick for him this year or match the one-year deal and risk losing him in free agency next season.
Pittsburgh can get Sanders under contract for $2.5 million, but they’ll likely have to restructure some more deals at some point in the near future.
- Adam Schefter reports that the Patriots offer sheet is one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
- Ian Rapoport reports that a source informed him that this situation will “go down to the wire.” The Steeles will have five days to decide to match.
- Schefter adds that the money involved “won’t be the determining factor.”
- La Canfora mentions that the Steelers could approach S Troy Polamalu about restructuring his deal.
- Ed Werder expects to see the Steelers match the Patriots offer sheet for Sanders.
The Steelers will have five days to match the Patriots offer, but they’re currently working with close to $2 million in cap space. It’s worth noting that Sanders actually counts for $1.3 million of the team’s salary cap, which means they could match an offer up to $3.3 million or so.
Pittsburgh would receive New England’s third-round pick if they were to not match the offer sheet.
Mike Wallace has already departed for the Dolphins, so losing Sanders would be a much bigger loss for a team that appears to be hurting for talent at the offensive skill positions.