Report: Patriots sign Emmanuel Sanders to Offer Sheet

The Patriots have reportedly signed Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette the Patriots have signed Steelers Restricted Free Agent WR Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet. Sanders was in Foxboro on Friday, but it was unknown up to this point if he signed an offer sheet. By signing the offer sheet the Patriots force the Steelers to match the contract offer or give him up to the Patriots. In doing so the Patriots will have to surrender their 3rd round pick (#92) to the Steelers.

Update: Multiple sources, including Tom Curran and Adam Schefter have contradicted the earlier and state that an offer sheet has not been signed.

If the report turns out to be true, it’s an example of Patriots flexing their free agent muscle over the cap strapped Steelers. Restricted free agency has become almost extinct in the NFL, but it appears the Patriots saw an opportunity to make their thin and change wide receiver corp more dynamic for a reasonable price. Since, Sanders was tendered with and “original round” tag, the team that signs him is only forced to give up a third round pick or work out a trade.

Sanders just completed his third full season in the league, all with the Steelers. He was picked in the third round, number 82 overall of the 2010 NFL Draft. This past season in Pittsburgh he totaled 44 receptions and 626 yards, his best statistical season to date.

There is a bit of a back story with Sanders and the Patriots that may shed some light on the interest. During the 2010 draft process the Patriots shows a great deal of interest in the Southern Methodist receiver. The Patriots held a private work out with Sanders and it was reported at the time that Patriots then Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien personally worked Sanders out prior to the draft. (Pats Hold Workout with Sanders)

Sanders ended up being selected eight spots ahead of the Patriots pick, who then turned their sights on Taylor Price (UGH). The coaching staff is very familiar with Sanders so the interest seems very real. If indeed the Patriots did sign him to an offer sheet, the Steelers would be hard pressed to match. According to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune, the Steelers have just about 3 million in cap room. With so little space and plenty of needs to still fill it’s tough to imagine they would match a decent sized offer.

We will have much more in the morning, when more sources confirm.

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11 Responses to “Report: Patriots sign Emmanuel Sanders to Offer Sheet”

  1. PatsGnome says:

    If the Patriot’s sign Sanders and give up the third round draft pick, then I would trade the 29th pick in the first round for multiple picks.

    I do not like trading down most of the time. But the Patriot’s only have five picks. They would only have four if they gave up their third round pick.

    They have the following:
    7th – received on the trade for Talib

  2. Nick says:

    Talib signed a one year deal with the pats.

  3. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    The Wilson signing looks very good to me, at 6’3″ 230 he brings some great size to the back-end. I have not seen the deal as yet, most likely a 1yr deal.
    I’m still projecting Vollmer to sign this weekend with the Patriots. If for some reason he does NOT sign, I’m not sure a draft pick is a smart idea to start GREEN in the NFL on Tom’s right side.
    I think IF we do sign WR Sanders, Lloyd maybe gone, and seeing we would give-up a 3d round pick, this makes me think a QB Mallett deal for more draft picks is in the works?

    • Bill says:

      I hate to see Pats give up $1.3MM plus a 3rd rd pick. If he was that good the Steelers would have wrapped him up. Why can’t Shane Vereen do more backfield pass catching to complement the passing and running game. I’d really like to see a little more speed at LB like a Jamie Collins or Arthur Brown. The defense needs those 3 picks.

  4. cc says:

    We need all our picks and in fact need to dump excess and gain a pick or 2, not give up anymore…….
    1/. Amendola signing.
    2/. Still have Loyd.
    3/. D. Jones signing.
    Still have and can utilize/ incorporate the following:
    UFA Deon Branch
    UFA J. Edelman
    UFA D. Stallworth
    J. Ebert
    A. Holmes 2nd year out of Hillsdale.
    K. Aiken 2nd year out of Central Florida.
    Oh, & I haven’t mentioned yet the Wonder Twins A-Hern(who is both a WR & a TE) & Gronk or the rest of the TE’s we hold……like Hoomanawanui, D. Fells, J. friggen Ballard! Or the STeamers and RBcrew incorporated too catch…….
    Wow. The Pats better have a “few” tricks under their sleeves if they keep tossing picks away like this.
    What’s BB want when the draft rolls around….a single lone 1st that he’ll turn into 9 6th rounders?

    • Billy C. says:

      That WR corp that you’ve listed isn’t going to get it done!

      • cc says:

        Gronk & A-Hern…..Amendola, Loyd, Jones, J.Eddy, w/a splash of a handfull of knowledgeable previous & still current Patriots…….Nevermind RB catches out of the backfield and down the sidelines for a quick few yards w/ good blocks…..?…..then what do I ask are they even here for?
        W/TB12 throwing 2 literally every body like he used to VS his binky…..Once your smart enough to tag a top OT 2 sink on with what we have now so things are tuffend-up…This shouldn’t be an issue.

  5. Ron says:

    I’d rather see a corner and vollmer sewn up first

  6. Billy C. says:

    BB is on top of his game. If the story is true then we’ve added a quality NFL ready receiver. He’s a proven young commodity with great upside who just happened to be sitting behind Wallace and Brown. This personnel decision far out paces any third round pick investing in a college wideout.

    • Billy C. says:

      Mike Reiss says the report was premature and that the Pats are still considering the possible initiation of a contract. PULL THE TRIGGER BILL!!

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I agree with Billy C. Sanders will be better than any 3d round draft pick WR, however, the Patriots have NOT signed an offer sheet as yet. IF they do and they GET Sanders, then Lloyd is most likely gone. I think the Sanders Talks are a way to get Lloyd’s deal done at a friendly cost to the Patriots. Time will tell, but it starts to look more and more doubtful the Patriots will draft a WR.

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