It’s starting to look more and more like Sanders will be back under his restricted tender next season.
It appears that the previous report was a little premature, but there’s still a chance New England attempts to pry Sanders away from Pittsburgh.
This means that the Steelers are faced with three options regarding Sanders:
- They can match the Patriots offer.
- They can allow him to sign with New England and collect a third-round pick
- They could work out a trade for Sanders.
Pittsburgh is still dealing with cap issues, so it’s not going to be easy for them to match a front-loaded offer from the Patriots. It’s still possibility, but certainly not an ideal situation. The third option can probably be ruled out given that Pittsburgh would already receive a third-round pick for him and it’s doubtful that New England would be willing to send them more than a third-rounder in return for Sanders. Allowing him to leave seems like a reasonable scenario, assuming of course that the Patriots have in fact extended him an offer.
The Steelers can’t afford to loose Sanders at this point. Not after Mike Wallace just departed for Miami. Jerricho Cotchery could be in line for a decent role in the team’s offense and it seems likely that they’ll be targeting a receiver at some point during the upcoming draft.
I’m sure we’ll hear more about this situation over the weekend.
This is very interesting given Sanders’ restricted status. Pittsburgh placed an low-round tender on him last week, which means New England would only have to give up a third-round pick to sign him away.
The Patriots could always use the “poison pill” approach to sign him away from Pittsburgh given that the Steelers have very little cap space to work with.
It’s hard to if this is anything more than the Pats just doing their due diligence.