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Tender blunder costs Steelers $500,000

Emmanuel Sanders AP

Regardless of whether the Steelers made the right decision to match the one-year, $2.5 million offer to retain receiver Emmanuel Sanders, the truth is that the entire escapade easily could have been avoided if the Steelers had made a better decision regarding the tender offer given to Sanders.

By going with the third-round tender at a cost of $1.3 million for a one-year deal, the Steelers tempted the Patriots to sign Sanders to an offer sheet.  If the Steelers had gone with a second-round tender at roughly $2 million, the Patriots likely would not have tried to sign Sanders.

It’s a dynamic that was explained by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette during Monday’s PFT Live.

So by trying to save $700,000, the Steelers cost themselves an extra $500,000.

The ultimate winner is Sanders, who gets another $1.2 million than the Steelers wanted to pay.  And unless the Steelers make him a much larger offer, Sanders will hit the open market in 2014.

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40 Responses to “Tender blunder costs Steelers $500,000”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 15, 2013 10:17 PM

    Somehow the way things played out is the best “football” outcome for the team.

  2. briang123 says: Apr 15, 2013 10:18 PM

    Too many what-ifs to call it a blunder.

  3. pierrepoint1 says: Apr 15, 2013 10:20 PM

    Where is your proof that the Patroits wouldn’t still have made their offer?

    Or were you just short of stories today and decided to make something up?

  4. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 15, 2013 10:23 PM

    Assuming of course that all other numbers stayed the same. What if they’d tendered 2nd rd and Pats had made a higher offer? Changes all the math. That’s one big assumption to make the argument work. One way or the other.

  5. morganstan100 says: Apr 15, 2013 10:26 PM

    Wow! What a bunch of clowns. This is why the Ravens are SB Champs and the Steelers are barely hanging on by a thread. Face it, fans. The situation is hopeless.

  6. mjkelly77 says: Apr 15, 2013 10:27 PM

    Right. It’s always so easy to second guess someone, especially after the scenario completely plays out.

  7. robbstarkdies says: Apr 15, 2013 10:30 PM

    Hopefully all GMs run their decisions past you each night, since you’re clearly experienced enough to always make the right decision.

    How about you just report the stories instead of forcing your own point of view down our throats every 30 minutes?

  8. stealthjunk says: Apr 15, 2013 10:30 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20. Seems like a worthy risk to me that almost paid off given that only 1 team actually sought to sign Sanders. Could have just as easily gone the other way and then you’d be talking about how they saved $700,000.

  9. waxedagain says: Apr 15, 2013 10:31 PM

    Blunder? Just a calculated business risk.

  10. cityofchampyinz says: Apr 15, 2013 10:33 PM

    Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly dream up another article for this topic…..

  11. ravenatorlikesboysbeeholez says: Apr 15, 2013 10:39 PM

    Uhhh the salary cap is $123 million, so $500,000, while unthinkable to lose to you and me, is couch-cushion change to any NFL team. What about Emmanuel Sanders game deserves more than an original round tender? He’s not Jerry Rice. He may even turn out to be one the weaker WR2’s football. $2.5 million for his services is still an honest price. Ed Bouchette is like your drunk uncle trying to tell you about that one missing piece from your hometown team. He should cover high school sports.

  12. andrewproughcfe says: Apr 15, 2013 10:44 PM

    You are missing the positives for the Steelers in this situation:

    1. They got their starting wideout signed to a very affordable one year contract.
    2. He can’t hold out until the end of training camp like Wallace did last year by refusing to sign his RFA tender.

    When you look at it that way, $500K isn’t too much to pay to get a guy to actually show up, train, get in shape, work himself into the offense, and be ready to go for the first game of the season.

    More teams should put a low RFA tender on a starter who is heading into a UFA season, hoping that he signs an affordable one-year deal that they can easily match. Much cheaper than franchising him!

  13. psmith7716 says: Apr 15, 2013 11:09 PM

    This is not the type of mistake the Steelers generally make. There has got to be more to this saga.

  14. Iknoweverything says: Apr 15, 2013 11:09 PM

    The Steelers front office is so inept, they do not even realize they are burying the team so far that they will not sniff the playoffs for a decade.

    Mike Brown is laughing at the Steelers implosion. Fans of all the other teams are rolling on the floor , while the Steeler fans continue to bask in the glory of decades past.

    LOVING IT!!!!!!!!

  15. nflofficeadmin says: Apr 15, 2013 11:18 PM

    Someone fell asleep at the wheel, but give the old man a break, it was his nap time.

  16. getyourownname says: Apr 15, 2013 11:38 PM

    Anyone else thinking of what it’s like to have your mother in law sitting in the back seat?

  17. ravenator says: Apr 15, 2013 11:56 PM

    Lets here steeler fans defend this one

  18. deathonwings410 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:16 AM

    Wow, what thé hell happened to Kevin Colbert?

  19. swagger52 says: Apr 16, 2013 12:16 AM

    This is good, because those throwback uniforms were very Blunderous. They looked like Keystone Cops.

  20. kmkhaine says: Apr 16, 2013 12:20 AM

    And the stealers will look like flying J in a few months.

  21. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 16, 2013 12:29 AM

    I don’t know, it actually sounds like a good risk-reward to me. Took a chance to save $700k that no one would make an offer for your 3rd receiver with the recent fumbles. Cost you $500k, but could have saved you $700k.

    You see ravenator and morganstan, 700 is bigger than 500 (by 200). I’ll help – just forget about the zeros for a minute (they’ll just confuse you), hold up seven fingers, then put 5 down, how many are left? Add back the zeros for an answer of 200. Don’t be discouraged if you got it wrong, you’ll cover that next school year.

  22. jcampol says: Apr 16, 2013 12:50 AM

    So we are speculating on what they might have saved and posting it as facts in the title of the article? Great journalism you do your trade proud!!

  23. UPYRS says: Apr 16, 2013 1:15 AM

    A team in decline from FO to the field Hello 5 and 11

  24. guinness021 says: Apr 16, 2013 1:15 AM

    Just another bad decision by a sub par team. Good thing the Steelers fan have the past to live in

  25. sasattack says: Apr 16, 2013 1:37 AM

    Why didn’t you make this statement prior to the NE offer? You’re the blunder!

  26. aaronmushrush says: Apr 16, 2013 2:07 AM

    Steelers front office is not looking like well a Steelers front office. That cap is horrendous.

  27. discosucs2005 says: Apr 16, 2013 2:40 AM

    Idk if this would matter, but I feel like if they tendered him to a $2 million a year , 2nd round tender, the same year they are planning on signing him to a long term deal, he may have somehow got the impression that he’s worth more than they want to pay him.

    While its true that almost no one would have considered trading a 2 bs rounder for Sanders, there’s no way his agent wouldn’t bring that up come deal time.

    I’m not saying what the right or wrong move was, but this isn’t least worth considering.

  28. longsufferingbillsfan says: Apr 16, 2013 2:53 AM

    If you didn’t want a 3rd for him, you should probably tender him higher than 3rd. It’s not rocket science.

  29. rgf1982 says: Apr 16, 2013 3:25 AM

    ben wanted him, ben got him. is it overpay? yes it is. is this an easier fix than trying to draft a rookie and get him and ben clicking? yes it is. also note the ravens still wear purple.

  30. foobarfoofoo says: Apr 16, 2013 5:14 AM

    They obviously hoped for/gambed on a team with a higher 3rd round pick than Pats @29 to sign Sanders to an offer sheet.

    Had they received a mid or early 3rd round pick, they would not have matched and taken the pick.

    On the other side: reports that the Patriots are now in the driver’s seat for Sanders after the season are wrong. Apparently, the Patriots tried to offer a longer term deal but lowballed Sanders, who rejected. As a last resort, the Patriots offered the one year deal … the Patriots just did not want to pay Sanders what he demanded long term. No way that will change after the season.

  31. morganstan100 says: Apr 16, 2013 7:11 AM

    Imagine how many players the Steelers could have signed if they didn’t let Bill Belichick make utter fools of them. You never see this kind of idiocy going on in Ozzie’s shop. You want big bucks? You’d better be a SB MVP. That’s the Raven way!

  32. slickster35 says: Apr 16, 2013 7:13 AM

    So Todd Haley is running the front office too?

  33. jajibokum says: Apr 16, 2013 8:11 AM

    This is a test. Just wondering why my posts are being censored. I am posting something benign to see if it will make it.

  34. shaunypoo says: Apr 16, 2013 10:24 AM

    Sorry, I don’t see it as a blunder. They took and gamble and it didn’t work out perfectly. So what, why make it a bigger deal than it is. Every player that gets tendered is a gamble. Usually the player is tendered high enough that no one else wants to give up that pick. That didn’t happen in this case and they had to pay a little more to keep him.

    The extra money is next to nothing for them and pushes the need to draft a WR a little lower. They have other needs and it helps that this isn’t higher up the list. Obviously they think this is a fair price to pay or they wouldn’t have matched.

    I am a Bengal fan and really don’t see the big deal. This doesn’t mean the FO is good or bad, it is one decision.

  35. shaunypoo says: Apr 16, 2013 10:25 AM

    As far as posts being censored, I find that most of mine that don’t make it are from my phone. When I use a computer they always make it. Maybe there is a user interface issue with smartphones, or the app is glitchy.

  36. eagles512 says: Apr 16, 2013 10:59 AM

    You’re not alone-they censor a lot if clean comments. Just try posting about Florio over analyzing like he has done with this.

  37. micktanner says: Apr 16, 2013 12:49 PM

    Does it really matter that Sanders is back for ‘one more season’? Well…to be honest the fact that the F.O. did decide to match the offer is their blunder! You see these Steelers will end up in 4th place in the AFC North in 2013….and still lose Sanders before 2014. Should have just taken the 3rd round pick and start the rebuilding process one year sooner…but these aren’t your daddy’s Steelers….no they are the ‘new’ replacements for the Brownies and their disfunctional ways! Like someone said earlier…good thing the fans of the black & yellow have their past to look back on….because their future is looking awfully bleak!!! Lol…

  38. tobiasjodter says: Apr 16, 2013 7:58 PM

    After reading some of these stories lately, the question is: is raveneater really MF?

  39. lovefootball4life says: Apr 16, 2013 8:25 PM

    Where are all the folks who said the Steelers should let Sanders go? All I’m reading now about how how this is a good “football decision” and Steelers get their starting wideout on the cheap. I thought they should let him go and still believe it was a mistake to match.

  40. bobzilla1001 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:18 AM

    lovefootball:
    Count me among those who said the Steelers should let Sanders go.
    My favorite team is in trouble.
    The dynamics of this team have changed dramatically with the recent departures of Max Starks, James Harrison, Keenan Lewis, Casey Hampton and Rashard Mendenhall.
    Starks was the starting tackle on two Super Bowl-winning teams and was the only O-lineman not to miss a single offensive snap last season; Harrison still has a lot of miles left; Lewis is/was a budding star; Hampton, although no spring chicken, still played at a high level last season; and Mendenhall was simply the team’s best running back.
    One draft isn’t going to cure all that ails the Steelers.

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