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Patriots bringing in Emmanuel Sanders for a visit

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants Getty Images

For a moment, let us set aside how it ended between the Patriots and Wes Welker and consider how it all began.

Six years ago, Welker was a restricted free agent, and the Dolphins tendered him at the second-round level. The Patriots shrugged and worked out a deal with Miami, sending second- and seventh-round picks to the Dolphins to get their man.

So yes, the Patriots have had success in restricted agency.

Now, they could be doing a little due diligence on another RFA wide receiver.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, will host Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a visit.

The Steelers tendered the 26-year-old Sanders at the original-round level, meaning an interested team would have to surrender a third-round pick were Pittsburgh to decline to match an offer sheet. Sanders is one of five restricted free agents on PFT’s Free Agency Hot 100.

In three seasons, Sanders has caught 94 passes for 1,230 yards and seven TDs, gaining 13.7 yards per catch. In Pittsburgh, he would likely start opposite of Antonio Brown after the departure of Mike Wallace.

Sanders’ athleticism and quickness are major assets. He had some foot issues earlier in his career, but he played in all 16 games a season ago.

Moreover, his value to the Steelers is at its greatest, considering Wallace has moved on.

This is a situation to watch.

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59 Responses to “Patriots bringing in Emmanuel Sanders for a visit”
  1. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 15, 2013 12:30 PM

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  2. azarkhan says: Mar 15, 2013 12:35 PM

    94 receptions in 3 seasons? That’s only 232 less than what Welker caught in the last 3 seasons. Sign him!

  3. bettis3636 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:36 PM

    Ok now im gonna over react…. NOOOO!!! But i have faith he’s going nowhere… Unless the Steelers wanna make a run at Jennings!

  4. grpatriot says: Mar 15, 2013 12:39 PM

    C ya Pittsburgh!

  5. dolfandan1 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:39 PM

    Don’t forget that the Patriots were going to poison pill the Dolphins to get Welker so the Fins took the 7th round pick rather than let that happen. Either way we would have lost him.

  6. ItIsWhatitis says: Mar 15, 2013 12:42 PM

    This would be a great move for the Pats.

  7. heyzeus143 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:43 PM

    If the Steelers let this one go it’s official that they hate their quarterback.

  8. jnbnet says: Mar 15, 2013 12:43 PM

    All new wideouts for Brady…..he’ll still light it up.

  9. umainebearman says: Mar 15, 2013 12:44 PM

    Condidering hes the 3rd guy in the Steelers wr depth chart those are pretty good numbers. I would LOVE to see another brick fall out of the Steelers already crumbling wall.

  10. lemonhead7 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:45 PM

    This would be crippling for the Steelers. 1 WR can be drafted to replace Wallace, but losing Sanders to boot would be a devastating blow. To the Pats no less! Brutal.

  11. tedmurph says: Mar 15, 2013 12:46 PM

    This is where the steelers cap problems are gonna hurt them. Guess lack of success drafting receivers has the Pats just signing what they think are partially proven, up and coming guys(Amendola, Jones). Giving up a 3rd is a lot when you have few picks, but WR was a draft need anyway. Worst case scenario, steelers have to match and release/not resign someone else.

  12. thirtyrackdash says: Mar 15, 2013 12:46 PM

    Maybe the Pats should get a secondary before we start throwing around picks to sign WRs

  13. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 15, 2013 12:48 PM

    It is a longshot thou considering the Pats would only have a 1, 2 and two 7s if they do this.

  14. jollyrob68 says: Mar 15, 2013 12:48 PM

    As a Steelers Fan from New England I’ll remind people that New England only has three draft picks this year. I can’t see Bill B parting with his pick. However, He loves to trade down so he can make it up.
    I’d expect them to front load a contract making it hard for The Steelers to match or offering a 2014 pick or player with the pick.
    I’ll have to cob through the roster

  15. whyareyousomad says: Mar 15, 2013 12:49 PM

    Good. 3 rings….with always a chance for more

  16. jimmyt says: Mar 15, 2013 12:52 PM

    They need him for the ten games Danny will miss with injuries.

  17. patriotinvasion says: Mar 15, 2013 12:55 PM

    Good, get younger and more athletic at WR and hurt the Steelers in the process. Rather do that then take another bust DB or WR with that 3rd round pick and waste another 4 years.

  18. meytonpanning says: Mar 15, 2013 12:56 PM

    Pretty sure the Steelers won’t let him go. The Pats just signed Amendola and don’t really need him as bad as the Steelers do.

  19. infectorman says: Mar 15, 2013 12:57 PM

    Amendola 27 yrs old
    Donald Jones 27 yrs old
    Sanders 26 yrs old

    Welker 32 yrs old.

    The trend is your friend

  20. superpatsfan3 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:00 PM

    Great move here IMO. All Lloyd is good at is making 7-14yd back shoulder sideline routes or curls where he takes it a literally too far as when he catches them then falls quickly to the ground and curls in supplication.

    E-Man…Tries to play as hard as Boldin with Welker-like skills…but everytime it looks like he is ready for prime-time…something falls off and he’s out.

    Dannny-“Training-Room” Amendola…See E-man.

    So, IMO, this Sanders is a good move unless he’s one of the many, MANY who they bring in via draft or FA that can’t pick up the offense to Tom’s liking.

  21. ftblfan9 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:02 PM

    This it to put pressure on Brandon Lloyd to restructure. Don’t be surprised if Lloyd is still with the Patriots next season. Obviously, what transpired with Welker/Amendola shows that McDaniels has some pull within the organization and Lloyd is a McDaniels’ guy-with a year under his belt in the Patriots’ system. Actually Lloyd’s production was decent, particularly against some of the better teams. His problem is that NE fans generally compare the production of their deep threat to Randy Moss and perhaps the greatest offensive year in the history of the NFL, so they never live up to it. Lloyd wasn’t all that bad and knows the system.

  22. tedmurph says: Mar 15, 2013 1:02 PM

    @dolfandan:

    The Pats were the ones that decided not to ‘poison pill’ Miami and called the Dolphins to propose a trade. They didn’t want another Hutchinson mess. The Dolphins lost Welker because the didn’t know what they had and were to cheap to pay the extra 500k it would have cost to tender Welker at a higher level.

  23. gridironrat says: Mar 15, 2013 1:06 PM

    jollyrob68 says:
    Mar 15, 2013 12:48 PM
    As a Steelers Fan from New England I’ll remind people that New England only has three draft picks this year. I can’t see Bill B parting with his pick. However, He loves to trade down so he can make it up.
    I’d expect them to front load a contract making it hard for The Steelers to match or offering a 2014 pick or player with the pick.
    I’ll have to cob through the roster

    ————————————————-

    Pats have 5 picks (1,2,3,7,7). Expect a front load contract. Pittsburgh has to either let him walk for the third or try to work out a trade for a second next season.

  24. tedmurph says: Mar 15, 2013 1:06 PM

    The Pats have 5 picks this yr. They’ll probably just trade their late 1rst round pick to one of the QB needy teams looking to get the 2nd best QB in the draft and restock that way. Or get something for Mallett.

  25. patriotslove12 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:07 PM

    It’s simple . The pats should 1. Bring back talib 2. Sign a. Wilson/or E. Reed 3. Sign either J. Abraham/ or D. Freeney THEN worry about an offense that ranked 1st in the nfl last year.

  26. nickster31 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:09 PM

    I am a Steelers fan and I hope they sign him to an offer sheet.

    For starters, he had trouble with the additional responsibility when he was named “co-starter” with Wallace. Does everyone forget the fumble issues this year?

    Secondly, he would be unrestricted next year, and Pittsburgh is not going to give him a contract as big as Brown got.

    Third, we would get another 3rd round pick, to go along with the comp pick we are going to get for losing Wallace and another comp puck for losing Lewis will likely give us 4 picks in the third round.

    With that, the Steelers could easy use their 1st on a WR, and be able to address all other areas of need on the first two days of the draft.

    PLEASE Patriots, sign him!

  27. ItIsWhatitis says: Mar 15, 2013 1:11 PM

    No way the Pats pay Lloyd the $3 million that will become due tomorrow. If he is back its on the cheap. Sanders would be a great addition regardless and if it takes one of their 4 draft picks then so be it. They will make at least 4 defensive FA signings to come – bet on it.

  28. drunkshortbusmunkeys says: Mar 15, 2013 1:15 PM

    This would go in line with the “young money crew” mentality that Mike Wallace brought to the team. It seems the only one to not fall into that is Antonio Brown. I think losing Sanders would be a huge loss for the Steelers. That would leave them with Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchrey and Plaxico Burress at WR and David Paulsen and David Johnson at TE/FB….YIKES!! You thought Big Ben was frustrated with the offense or lack there of last year, it could be a long year for Steelers Nation

  29. floriohatesthebengals says: Mar 15, 2013 1:16 PM

    Would you give up a 3rd pick for Sanders? As a Bengals fan I would. Hurts the Steelers and helps the Bengals (Patriots). The Steelers better draft well because the Browns might be better than them. haha

  30. blackngold4life says: Mar 15, 2013 1:16 PM

    LOL told y’all its a $ Driven league..No loyalty from players or Team Management..Only players safe are Starting top 10 QBs These days..

  31. scoobies05 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    ok steeley. your turn. whats your opinion on this and your thoughts on steeler off season. i answered your pitta question

  32. drunkshortbusmunkeys says: Mar 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    @ nickster31:

    “Third, we would get another 3rd round pick, to go along with the comp pick we are going to get for losing Wallace and another comp puck for losing Lewis will likely give us 4 picks in the third round.”

    Steelers DO NOT get comp picks this year, they would/will get them next year for FA lost this offseason. Mike Wallace will bring a 3rd, but unless Lewis goes to the Pro Bowl his contract will not bring a 3rd round pick, more likely a low 4th or high 5th round comp pick in return.

    “With that, the Steelers could easy use their 1st on a WR, and be able to address all other areas of need on the first two days of the draft.”

    They will not draft a WR in the first round unless he is the BPA on their board and I don’t see a WR making that grade at 17. They would more likely use one or both (if the Patriots sign Sanders) of their 3rd round picks this year on WR’s and let Cotchrey/Burress be stop gaps until those guys were ready

  33. grogansheroes says: Mar 15, 2013 1:22 PM

    Pats are just kicking the tires for when he is unrestricted next year. And maybe up his price for the Steelers this year.

  34. ravenator says: Mar 15, 2013 1:23 PM

    I hear they’re having open tryouts for the steelers. Well look at the birght side Pittsburgh, you’ll be picking first in the 2014 draft

  35. wolverine69 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:29 PM

    the Steelers opened themselves up for this to happen, always trying to be bargain basement shoppers…Just like the Pats to hit the steelers where it hurts and all they loose is a third round pick……Any decent offer the steelers will likely not be able to match….GREAT JOB FRONT OFFCE!

  36. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 15, 2013 1:32 PM

    scoobies05 says:Mar 15, 2013 1:20 PM

    ok steeley. your turn. whats your opinion on this and your thoughts on steeler off season. i answered your pitta question

    ———————-

    As you can see from the first post on this article I am NOT a fan of losing Eman Sanders. I dont see the Steelers spending a first on any WR so they will likely wait until at least the second at which point you aren’t getting anyone who can match Sanders play right away. Think Alshon Jeffery.

  37. drunkshortbusmunkeys says: Mar 15, 2013 1:32 PM

    Pats are just kicking the tires for when he is unrestricted next year. And maybe up his price for the Steelers this year.”

    His price is “set” this year for the Steelers, so it doesn’t matter how many teams bring him in for a look-see it will not effect the contract he has with the Steelers. The only way it drives up his price for the Steelers is if a team makes him an offer and the Steelers choose to match it. If anyone makes an offer for this guy, I think the Steelers let him walk regardless, they just don’t have the cap space to let other teams determine what they are willing to pay, unless some other team offers what the Steelers feel he is worth and it “fits” in their cap situation.

    The problem is, any team that wants to sign him will make sure that it is front loaded so the Steelers can’t match it unless they start cutting or restructure other current contracts, which won’t happen.

  38. fhuizar says: Mar 15, 2013 1:34 PM

    Another 8-8 season in Pitt.

  39. pgh15212 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:40 PM

    azarkhan says:Mar 15, 2013 12:35 PM

    94 receptions in 3 seasons? That’s only 232 less than what Welker caught in the last 3 seasons. Sign him!
    ______________________

    Welker had 96 grabs in his first three.

  40. cedarstrength says: Mar 15, 2013 1:44 PM

    Both of these front offices have shown time and time again that they know what they are doing. I would hate to see him leave, but I have faith that the Steelers have method to their madness at all times. Their record speak for itself. The same thing can be said for the Pats.

  41. toybkshr says: Mar 15, 2013 1:52 PM

    @jollyrob68 – Pats have 5 dr picks – not 3. Since they would likely need to draft a receiver anyway, given how poor they’re drafting of receivers has been, a 3rd for a proven WR is a good investment.

  42. scoobies05 says: Mar 15, 2013 1:58 PM

    thanks for your honesty. keep this in mind….torrey smith 2nd round

  43. 6superbowls says: Mar 15, 2013 1:58 PM

    Ravenator? Why do you continue to troll Steeler articles and make yourself look STOOPID each and every post? Have you looked at YOUR team idiot??? Your defense is decimated!!! Fool.

  44. blackngold4life says: Mar 15, 2013 2:00 PM

    Steelers never match offers..they midas well just start trading players for draft pick when that player enters his last contract year ie Mike Wallace I said last year they should have traded him instead of letting him go for NOTHIN knowing he wasn’t gona be around. That’s really poor personnel management. Take a Note from the NBA. get what you can get, ESPECIALLY if you CANT pay um, which we cant do and wont do. Steelers will continue to sit status quo untill the front office gives this team a chance to Compete in the off season. And all you Yinzers that SWEAR by Kevin Colbert & Khan wake up! They’ve handcuffed this team year after year..Y’all wana complain about players leaven? Its cause we broke every year..and its not like we gota bunch of pro bowlers on our roster.Did we even have any!? (Not reserves) I think KC had 5 but atleast they still had $ to dip into Free Agency and get better..same with the Bungals

  45. 6superbowls says: Mar 15, 2013 2:02 PM

    Dude couldn’t catch a cold last season. When he did, he laid it on the turf way too often. Belicheat can have him.

  46. mikemyditka says: Mar 15, 2013 2:10 PM

    Sanders is good but his production doesnt merit a huge contract at this time. The guy has missed plenty of games in his career, and made errors in crucial moments for the steelers last season.

    His production can be replaced and its a very deep WR draft class this year.

    Id just as soon take a 3rd and move on than to match an overstuffed contract.

  47. jharmon64 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:10 PM

    As a Steeler’s fan I’d be glad to let him go for a 3rd rounder.

    The guy has some talent, but short on brains.

    See ya!

  48. dontstabmeray says: Mar 15, 2013 2:11 PM

    ravenator says:Mar 15, 2013 1:23 PM

    I hear they’re having open tryouts for the steelers. Well look at the birght side Pittsburgh, you’ll be picking first in the 2014 draft

    __________________________________

    This is comical considering the ravens don’t even currently have enough players to field a team right now.

    Steelers still living rent free in ravenator’s tiny little head……..

  49. cbass59 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:47 PM

    Fire Colbert. He’s lost his touch since bring promoted to GM last year.

  50. cbass59 says: Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM

    *since being promoted…

  51. dcnblue says: Mar 15, 2013 2:57 PM

    Are we really going to trust Belichicks choice of wide receivers? These guys will probably be cut in training camp. Belichicks choices have been terrible. He would be better off picking his nose. As far as McDaniels, wasn’t he fired from Denver for poor personnel decisions and isn’t he the one who mved back to the first round to get Tebow—wow

  52. jpb12 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:06 PM

    Patriots have 5 picks. 1st, 2nd, 3rd rounder and two in the 7th round.

    McDaniels also drafted Demaryius Thomas… pretty good WR.

  53. woodley56 says: Mar 15, 2013 3:11 PM

    heyzeus143 says:
    Mar 15, 2013 12:43 PM
    If the Steelers let this one go it’s official that they hate their quarterback.

    ——————————————-
    Steeler fan here….I would have to agree. Also add they hate their fans and coaches as well….

  54. blackngold4life says: Mar 15, 2013 3:17 PM

    100% agree its still gona take us years to get out the red This Guy has us in with all the restructuring he likes to do..Or we gona see more players let go..Like Troy..Ike & Woodley

  55. captjackwagon says: Mar 15, 2013 3:46 PM

    You bring up a good point. The Steelers should consider seeing what value they can get for Polamalu. He hasn’t played a whole season in years. With the amount of Safeties and DB’s out there this year, we could have solidified our secondary by bringing in 2 players at his current salary. Also, Ike Taylor is worthless. Receivers laugh all day long when he is lined up opposite them. He gets burned more than wood in a redneck’s stove…
    Steelers are in trouble. Still hoping that last year’s draft picks work out (minus Chris Rainey that is since we all know how that worked out).

  56. contract says: Mar 15, 2013 3:48 PM

    Ben won a Super Bowl throwing to Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson. We will be fine.

  57. ephillips122 says: Mar 15, 2013 4:28 PM

    At first I thought E-man was Brown, and it made me gasp at the idea. But it’s not, E-man while not bad isn’t going to be elite. You could probably use a 3rd rd pick.

  58. lovefootball4life says: Mar 15, 2013 5:34 PM

    This would suck for the Steelers. That would leave Brown and “Crotch”ery. Without a proven running back and apparently leadership issues in the locker room with Haley as OC again…ouch. Could be a long season for Steeler fans.

  59. bobzilla1001 says: Mar 15, 2013 11:17 PM

    contract:
    Correction: “Ben” won a Super Bowl via Randle El throwing to Hines Ward.
    I realize you casual fans don’t like facts to stand in the way of a good story.

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