Pats dust off the RFA market

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In recent years, the restricted free agency market hasn’t been a market.  Last year, for example, more than 40 RFAs were available, but not a single one signed an offer sheet.

This year, the Patriots have dusted off the restricted free agency market by bringing in Steelers wideout Emmanuel Sanders for a visit.

With Pittsburgh choosing to extend an offer of only $1.323 million to Sanders, securing a third-round pick as compensation, the Pats could easily make Sanders an offer the Steelers can’t muster the cap space to match.

With the market for receivers (and everyone else) now depressed, it should be cheaper to get Sanders, who would gladly trade the one-year deal for something that pays out $5 million or $6 million per year.  Maybe even less.

As former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli, now a contributor to NBC Sports Network and NFL Network, told PFT, “The Emmanuel Sanders signing would be a steal.”  Pioli also called Sanders “one of the best bargains on the market.”

He may not be a bargain for long, if other teams wake up.  Then again, if they don’t wake up soon, Sanders may have his Hancock on an offer sheet — with the clock ticking on the Steelers to find the dollars and cap room to match.

41 responses to “Pats dust off the RFA market

  1. Steelers fan, congratulations. Youre officially favorites for landing the #1 draft pick in 2014

  2. “With Pittsburgh choosing to extend an offer of only $1.323 million to Sanders, securing a third-round pick as compensation, the Pats could easily make Sanders an offer the Steelers can’t muster the cap space to match.

    With the market for receivers (and everyone else) now depressed, it should be cheaper to get Sanders, who would gladly trade the one-year deal for something that pays out $5 million or $6 million per year. Maybe even less.”

    Okay, a couple things…

    The pats would be down to 4 picks (2 in the 7th round) if they got him. How valuable is a guy whos never started, and averages 2 catches a game? I dont think its so much that the steelers couldnt match it.

    And you say the market is down, so the contract wouldnt be as big…well, they would have to make it big if they dont want the steelers to match.

  3. Ravenhater…u lost Lewis along with reed, boldin, Kruger, and pollard just to pay and average QB top $…enjoy your place behind Cleveland in the division next year

  4. There is not one headline in sports currently that is not stating “Captain Obvious”….The RAVENS will be in the cellar and have been hurt THE most by all of the key departures. As a Steeler fan with 6, yes 6 superbowl wins (does any other team have 6?) if the patriots pick up sanders, this will hurt us a bit. Sanders is a good young prospect that we can not afford to lose. Good move on the patriots if the pull the trigger.

  5. Ravens have 12 picks in this draft.

    Think Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones and Sanders.

    Just sayin’.

  6. Silly haters, everyone saying the Ravens will be in last place because they lost members of a historically BAD defense (by Ravens standards). You’re talking about a defense without its best player (Webb), reigning DPOY for most of the year (Suggs) and one of the best DT in the game playing at 60%. Ray Lewis couldn’t cover anyone as illustrated in the Superbowl, and Ed Reed doesn’t tackle anymore. Upshaw replaces Kruger easily and there are tons of ILBs in the draft.

    They’re going to get younger, faster, and better.

    Ozzie > Colbert

  7. Steeley McBeam says:
    Mar 15, 2013 2:57 PM
    I thought it was an unwritten rule that you dont poach other teams RFA? Oh wait, this is the Pats were talking about here they have no dignity.

    Welker was an RFA when the Pats picked him up; although for some reason even though the ‘Fins likely would not have matched the Pats offer, the Pats threw the ‘Fins a bone and ‘traded’ for Welker by throwing in a 7th round pick.

    There is plenty of dignity in picking up good RFAs; if Sanders is better than any 3rd round pick the Pats could get this year, and he probably is, they should make an offer.

  8. McBean, do you make up these rules yourself. Teams don’t often sign RFA’s only because they don’t want to play for a major contract AND a high draft pick for a guy who is usually just a good prospect.

    The only reason the Pats would go after Sanders is that he’s a very interesting prospect who has the size and speed the Pats are looking for and is likely light years ahead of any WR prospect available to the Pats at the bottom of the 3rd round.

    Don’t blame the Pats. If you want to blame anyone blame your own front office who got you into such a bad cap situation that you couldn’t afford to put a 2nd run tender on Sanders, which probably would have made him too expensive for teams to look at.

  9. ravenator says: Mar 15, 2013 2:47 PM

    Steelers fan, congratulations. Youre officially favorites for landing the #1 draft pick in 2014
    ————-
    Raiders and Jets fans think you suck at setting odds.

  10. considering bill belichick is pretty terrible at drafting early round wrs I think this makes sense. If he was thinking of taking a wr at this point in the draft, why not know what you are getting.

    bethel Johnson, chad Jackson, Brandon tate, and taylor price were all pricey draft misses by BB. Deon Branch is the best WR he ever drafted and the only one I can really think of that stuck around. (we’ll see if Edelman is back)

    Make the move bill

  11. ravenator says: Mar 15, 2013 2:47 PM

    Steelers fan, congratulations. Youre officially favorites for landing the #1 draft pick in 2014

    AFC North
    Cincy 9-7
    Cleveland 2-14
    Pittsburgh 1-15
    Baltimore 0-16

    Sorry Ravenator, you can have the pick

  12. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 15, 2013 2:57 PM

    I thought it was an unwritten rule that you dont poach other teams RFA? Oh wait, this is the Pats were talking about here they have no dignity.

    ————————————————-

    are you kidding me? unwritten rule? this may be the stupidest comment I have ever seen. if pitt wanted him so bad they should have tendered him higher than the 3rd round.

  13. ravenator | Mar 15, 2013, 2:47 PM EDT
    Steelers fan, congratulations. Youre officially favorites for landing the #1 draft pick in 2014

    I want to thank you for that prediction. Anyone who follows your predictions knows your never right …so thanks now I know we will be just fine next year…..moron

  14. Well if Pioli says he’s a bargain then it must be so. All hail the draft record of Scott Pioli! He’s a genius, just ask him. As someone who actually watched Sanders play (I use that term loosely) I would gladly take any 3rd rounder for him. I believe the Steelers have made many foolish wide receiver trades lately like Holmes for the pick that became Wallace or choosing to keep Ward over Burress a few years back. Foolish, foolish Colbert! He should be replaced by someone much smarter… Oh wait! Is Scott Pioli available?!

  15. AFC North
    Cincy 9-7
    Cleveland 2-14
    Pittsburgh 1-15
    Baltimore 0-16

    Sorry Ravenator, you can have the pick

    ——————————–

    I’m a Ravens fan and I hate Ravenator as much as the next guy but I cannot believe this is getting upvotes. If Baltimore goes 0-16 than the worst Pittsburgh can finish is 2-14.

  16. The pats need a reliable target for when Amendola gets hurt making a sandwich later this month.

    If the pats gave the steelers their 3rd rounder, they would only have 4 total picks this year. 1st, 2nd, and 2 in the 7th.

    This draft is deep at WR. The steelers would be able to get a couple in the draft with an extra pick. Tomlin has not been a good draft evaluator except for WR. He played WR and has a good eye for them. They found Wallace in the 3 rd and Brown in the 6th.

  17. Haley was with BB in NY from 97-99, perhaps Sanders has some terminology and or scheme familarity that gives Sanders a leg up too.

  18. Ravenator again proves that he is the dumbest sack on the planet. So…the Ravens losing Birk, Boldin, maybe McKinnie, outside chance at Pitta, Lewis, Ellerbe, Kruger, Pollard, outside chance at Reed only makes them more competitive, but the Steelers losing Sanders makes them the worst team in the league. Makes sense. Still, the Steelers beat the Ravens in Baltimore last year with their 3rd Qb and should have beat them in Pittsburgh with their 2nd Qb. If the Steelers do finish 1-15, they will still have beaten the Ravens for their one win.

  19. zerophocus…and the rest of you non-believers, the Ravens will be fine.

    Yeah, they lost some good players and so did other teams. You all make it sound like it will be 11 on 6 when the Ravens are on the field; it will still be 11 on 11. Most of the players gone from the Ravens are not household names. The system has a lot to do with their success and the last time I checked, the game is not played on paper. You win during Sep thru Jan, not March!!

    Look for improvements on offense and defense, neither of which were great. We won the SB without our best defensive player–Webb. And Flacco, Smith, Pitta, along with other players will be more formidable under the new system.

    Why do so many posts digress to talk about the Ravens? Is that because of the ravenator?

  20. Flacco only completed 48% to guys other than Bolden.

    Face it, the ravens were a total fluke. They had a good stretch of games at the right time. They were aided by bad calls in their favor and unbelievably lucky plays like a Denver DB falling down.

    Most of their big plays were due to pass interference or Bolden ripping the ball away from DBs when he wasn’t even open and Flacco threw to him anyway.

    Flacco better be the elite QB he was paid to be. If he’s the mediocre QB who had a few lucky games at the right time like most fans believe, then the ravens are screwed.

  21. This is just messed up… We cannot lose Sanders but the Pats are gonna make sure we pay for it. We are def in trouble if we lose him also. I tend to agree with Steeley Mcbeam. The Pats are wanting to start a bidding war is my guess.

  22. Paying 6M a year and giving up a draft pick would make the Wallace signing look like a bargain. I could see them poaching him but at nowhere near 6M.

  23. nite2al | Mar 15, 2013, 4:09 PM EDT
    zerophocus…and the rest of you non-believers, the Ravens will be fine.

    Yeah, they lost some good players and so did other teams. You all make it sound like it will be 11 on 6 when the Ravens are on the field; it will still be 11 on 11. Most of the players gone from the Ravens are not household names. The system has a lot to do with their success and the last time I checked, the game is not played on paper. You win during Sep thru Jan, not March!!

    Look for improvements on offense and defense, neither of which were great. We won the SB without our best defensive player–Webb. And Flacco, Smith, Pitta, along with other players will be more formidable under the new system.

    Why do so many posts digress to talk about the Ravens? Is that because of the ravenator?

    Don’t give fan boy credit. All the bandwagon raven morons have come out since the SB win. A lot of these tools like to remind everyone about how great the ravens are when they should be saying were…and they were great…. New season and last year means nothing this year and every team is one QB injury from 8-8. So enjoy the lime light morravons.

  24. A visit doesn’t mean a signing! I love these illegitimate team fans responses- first they say Colbert is stupid for being over the cap and having to cut players, now they are too cheap and should have offered Sanders a higher tender. OMG! The Steelers and the Rooney family have been doing this right since the moment they hired Chuck Noll. The Steelers are outstanding evaluating talent- both their own and in the draft. With occasional misses like Rice vs what was his name now in AZ. Most times the Steelers get it right. Unlike you trash by the Bay, this isn’t new to the Steelers, having to lose quality players each year. The Steelers draft wisely and almost always have players others covet when contracts are up. We can’t re-sign everyone.

  25. The only way the Pats get him is by offering him 6-7 mil a year- which then means he ceases to be a “steal” PLUS they end up giving up a 3rd for a guy who will become at best their 4th receiving option.

    I dont see it- but if they want to do that, go for it. WRs are deep this year and the Steelers know it.

    More likely, Pats are just kicking the tires, like they do with ALOT of free agents, and Manny will be a UFA next year.

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