Patriots sign Emmanuel Sanders to offer sheet

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The Patriots are making a move for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Sanders, a restricted free agent from the Steelers, has signed an offer sheet with the Patriots, according to multiple reports.

That means the Steelers will have five days to either match the Patriots’ offer and keep Sanders, or decline to match it and let Sanders become a Patriot. If the Steelers don’t match, they get the Patriots’ third-round draft pick, No. 91 overall.

The offer is reportedly a one-year contract. The Patriots have more cap space than the Steelers this season, so it wouldn’t be hard for New England to offer Sanders a higher salary in 2013 than the Steelers can afford to pay. But if the Patriots send the Steelers their third-round draft pick they’ll be almost out of ammunition in the draft: They’ve already traded away their fourth-round pick for Aqib Talib, their fifth-round pick for Albert Haynesworth and their sixth-round pick for Chad Ochocinco.

Sanders visited the Patriots a month ago, and the possibility that he could land in New England has been much-discussed since then. If the Steelers don’t match, then the Patriots have taken a big step toward filling the gaps in their receiving corps, and the Steelers — who have already lost Mike Wallace in free agency — will be down two of their top three wide receivers.

136 responses to “Patriots sign Emmanuel Sanders to offer sheet

  1. Hahaha – the steelers offseason keeps getting worse and worse. I would like to give a golf clap to their sensational front office.

  2. I can’t wait to hear the excuses now…go on, tell me how you don’t need Sanders to make it to the playoffs…Im waiting…

  3. This is gonna hurt.. Sanders was a beast on 3rd down. And Heath will be out for the beginning.. That means Ben will be missing his favorite 3rd down targets..

  4. I won’t say that losing Sanders won’t hurt in the short term, because we’re so thin at WR, but a 3rd round pick for him is solid compensation.

    He’s never healthy, and when he is he’s a mediocre #2 at best.

    Why are the Patriots seen as some genius franchise? A 4th for Talib is a good deal (assuming he doesn’t go crazy), but Haynesworth and Ochocinco were terrible trades.

    And why 1 year deal for Sanders? If you’re giving up a 3rd wouldn’t you want to be sure he’s locked up more than 1 season. They may be spending a 3rd rounder to rent him 1 season.

  5. they can have the guy who in their right mind would pay the kind of money this clown wants just to catch 40 passes and have maybe 5 tds, not to mention he has bad wheels. good luck with that Belichek. I would gladly welcome another draft pk.I could find 6 or so receivers in the draft that are better than this guy.

  6. The guy is a 40 catch player at best and has had some serious foot injuries. There may be some short term misery, but there is good WR depth this year.

  7. 3rd round draft pick for a 1 year contract? Something shady going on there, I mean, it is the Pats. More like sign this 1 year deal and we have a 3-4 year extension already agreed upon but can’t give it to you now without allowing the Steelers a better chance to match.

  8. Interesting to think the Pats value Sanders more than a 3rd rounder in the draft that they could groom themselves and get for 4 years under contract for next to nothing?

  9. As a Steelers fan I can honestly say….

    PLEASE DO NOT match the offer!

    This is a great draft to have the extra 3rd rounder. Now, we can use either pir 1st or 2nd round pick on a bigger WR that would go great in the Todd Hailey offense.

  10. Ouch….and steelers fans keep coming on Ravens stories and writing…worry about your own team, its big ben and brown on offense and no one else…(crickets)

  11. Why only a one year deal? Seems like a waste of a draft pick. Like they did with their 5th and 6th round picks.

  12. Why would you sign him to a one year deal? If you actually obtain him, then they may once again lose a draft pick over a player that barely played for them.

  13. He’s gonna be better than any WR you can get in the 3rd round. Gonna have to see contract details first to really judge how good of a move this is.

  14. I keep hearing the Patriots are in trouble because they dont have enough picks. How about the last few years where they’ve had a ton of picks, so those young players can make up for the lack of rookies they’ll get this year.

  15. Take the draft pick. 4 picks in the first 3 rounds is better than Sanders. Who will want an overpaid contract next year anyway. This happens? We must go offense in the 1st. No later than the 2nd.

  16. Good thing Wr is deep in this draft. A. Brown is still better than any Ravens Wr anyway. Bengals look like the team to beat more and more. Ravens and Steelers keep losings talent and Browns are the Browns.

  17. This draft is loaded at WR and when we get a better one who can play more than the slot for 5 years under a rookie contract this is going to be a huge plus.

    However, to poach a RFA for a one year contract seems extremely shady. It is the Pats were talking about so I guess I shouldnt be surprised.

  18. Ouch! this hurts the Steelers. The Browns now have a better offense! Oh yea, the Ravens have gotten better. Daburgher, we didn’t resign Boldin because we owed him 6 mil against the cap for one year. We opted to get younger and faster. The Steelers got older and slower (and apparently dumber)!

  19. I dislike the Steelers, and in fact I dislike Cleveland and Baltimore too, but there’s one thing that is a constant.

    Never count out Pittsburgh. As long as Roethelisburger is the QB, they will be competitive.

    I hate saying it but it’s true.

  20. Steeler fans will feel the sting of this one without anyone having to rub it it. Interesting that the Patriots value Sanders that highly such that they don’t see a good WR option in 3rd round.

    I don’t know what you do if you have as many need areas as the Steelers do now. Other than QB, TE, and maybe the O line if they are healthy isn’t everything else an area of need?

  21. This can work for both sides. The Steelers can either match the deal on the cheap to have Sanders for a few more years, or they can let him go, and get another WR in a deep draft. Sanders would also help a Patriot offense, as he has experience and is a smart receiver. His problem, catching the rock. This won’t go over to well in NE and Brady, as it didn’t in Pittsburgh, hence why we was even available. He had more drops than Sprint Mobile last season…..and that’s a lot.

  22. Playoff bound or not? We knew this was coming for months. We get the bargain with the draft choice. Too much depth at receiver in this years draft. It will be nice to have 4 picks in the first 3. Now we could move up in the first also. Better scenario our way.

  23. Another Steeler fan here. Please don’t match, Colbert. Sanders has had foot/ankle issues and missed a lot of time. Take the pick and run.

  24. The Steelers won’t miss Sanders very much and the extra 3rd round pick will help them more than people think. Our front office knows what it is doing. After all, we own 6 (read ’em and weep, Ravenator) Lombardi trophies. You keep forgetting to mention that when you comment. You also forget that you had the strongest clutch player in the league last year in Boldin and your front office let him go. He made Flacco and you know that is definitely true!
    Games are also played on the field and not on blogs. Let’s see if the Ravens repeat next year without Boldin and the other top players that left. Can’t wait for that

  25. @Nickster31

    I agree. I wouldnt match. Keep the 3rd, and pick up more depth. Sanders has talent, but he had too many drops, through injury issues got beat out by Brown, and in a year to stake his claim on a lineup, failed to meet expectations last season.

  26. As a Pats fan I dont mind giving up a 3rd because we are so weak at WR and the Patriots (under BB) have been historically bad at drafting WR. But for one year? that doesnt seem right at all

  27. And for those wondering why the pats would give up a 3rd rounder for him.. The pats are historically bad at evaluating WR’s in the draft.

  28. Ravenator:

    The STEELERS lose players every year…or have you noticed? The organization will just find someone else to replace Sanders if the Patriots offer is not matched. It really is that simple…not necessary to freak out about losing Sanders, or Wallace for that matter.

    Not to mention, WR’s can be found anywhere in the draft. The STEELERS have proven that already with Sanders, Wallace, and others.


  29. The odds that Sanders is better than any WR they’d find with the 91st pick are pretty damn good.

  30. Losing just Wallace, not that much pain. Losing just Sanders, not that much pain.

    Losing them both? Not so good.

    Hopefully picking up a franchise running back on the cheap and finding a decent young wideout late in the draft to pair up with the tight end needed to eventually replace Miller will leave enough draft picks to sure up the defense. At least a second third rounder will let the team bring in another expected starter.

    Ravenator – why is it that when they are playing for the Steelers, there isn’t anything better than a mediocre number two guy in the wide receiver corps, but when another team signs someone away it is crippling?

  31. Its funny how every year there are so many people on PFT telling us all about the steelers’ impending doom. Sorry but losing sanders is not going to be the end of the franchise. He has a whole lot of potential but potential doesn’t win football games. Let him go and take the 3rd round pick. It has been a rough offseason for the steelers for sure but whether you like it or not they have one of the best front offices in the league and manage to be competitive almost every season. Until they have several bad years in a row there is absolutely no reason to believe that they are suddenly going to fall apart. It may not be an ideal situation this year but the organization will make the best of what they have and put a competitive team on the field again this season. Have fun predicting their collapse in April and enjoy it now because when september gets here it will be back to being one of the more competitive teams in the NFL for the Steelers. They can’t win every single year. Every once in awhile they are going to have some bad breaks and have an 8 – 8 season.

  32. Why, why, why???? This is a draft that has good depth at wide receiver. What are they doing, this guy does not have a good health history. Draft a young reciever who is healthy and explosive!!

  33. Why are Ravens fans so needy and annoying? You’d think they’d be enjoying their SB instead of worrying about others.

  34. Any other team can get away with talking trash about our offseason so far, but the Raven certainly cannot. After telling everyone responsible for that SB run to take a hike, you are in no condition to criticize any other team. Yeah we lost Mike Wallace, and may lose Sanders too. They’ll be missed. But Flacco owes half of that contract to Boldin, who was jettisoned to SF. Reed is gone, Lewis is gone, Pollard is gone. Regardless of what Pittsburgh does, the Ravens can only hope to get 2nd place in the AFCN this year, but it’s very likely that you fight it out for 3rd with Cleveland while Cincy and Pittsburgh fight for the division. That’s what happens when you get rid of what got you there.

  35. “If Joe is “average” and won a superbowl MVP, what does that make Ben? Sub-par?”

    Ben won 2 SB’s and is a far better QB than Flacco can hope to be. Go ahead and swim in your success from last season, because the future looks dim in Baltimore with that sub par team you have left.

  36. I am a Patriots fan and this signing if it holds up is by no means a slam-dunk. Evaluating Wide-Outs, whether in college or seasoned-pros is not their strong suit. Donald Hayes, Chad Ochocinco, Doug Gabriel, Brandon Lloyd and Chad Jackson to name a few were nothing special. They’ve had just a few hits in this area over the years.

    I’d call this one a slightly weighted coin flip at best.

  37. The more I think about this, the more I think the Pats don’t really want Sanders. They are just trying to push us to spend more. 1 year deal doesn’t make a lot of sense. Plus Sanders has had trouble with fumbles and injuries. What is it they think they are getting?!? I hope we don’t match Wr is way to deep this year. And dont’ take one early no need. A. Brown 6th round, M. Wallace, 3rd round, H. Ward 3rd round, Y. Thigpen 4th and even E. Sanders 3rd round. The talent is out there and we have found it. Thanks for unloading dead wait so we can find yet another gem.

  38. Take the third round pick, the 1.3M and run like you stole something.

    There are 25 guys in this years draft who have Manny’s skill set and given the Steelers history of drafting WR’s lately, I’m willing to bet you can go get someone to replace him.

    No need to keep kicking this can down the road by renengotiating more contracts – we’re out of road.

  39. The Pats have no wide outs really. Plus, Gronk may not be an option till Game 4 or 5. Plus, the Pats pick late, so it is all the way at 91. Sanders is a quality wideout. Health is the question, that knee of his.
    Obviously, Pats worried about receiver options.

    They don’t have Lloyd, they don’t have Welker. They don’t have Edemann.

    The question becomes can they find a late 3rd rounder that can do what 3 year Pro Sanders can do?
    The answer is no, so good move. But move not over till Pittsburgh would issue their pick and see the results over a few years.

    Hard to say who wins this. And Steelers may find a way to match, but I think they let him go.

  40. It’s amazing how certain fans can give all of the teams fans a bad rep. Point proven in the comments on this article. I’m not a Steelers fan but I do live in Pennsylvania and those of you who are saying you won’t miss Sanders are extremely irrational. You’d rather a 3rd round rookie over a player who has proven production in the league? Stop pulling the “40 receptions” off of and realize that he was a reliable 3rd down receiver. Without Wallace, Brown is going to get all the attention from defenses and Sanders would be left with alot of 1 on 1’s. Take off the black and yellow shades and be rational fans for once.

  41. The Steelers are good at finding WRs in the draft, my Pats are not. So it will work for both sides if it happens. The Pats most productive WRs since 06 have all been “castoffs” from other teams.

    If this does happen, it further solidifies my opinion that BB is soooo trading out of the first round this year.

  42. ravenator says

    If Joe is “average” and won a superbowl MVP, what does that make Ben? Sub-par?

    Mate, That would make Ben better with 2 Superbowl wins. And 3 Superbowl appearances. And Jacoby Jones called! He wants his MVP trophy back. And mate,how have you been posting all morning with that condo payment? Don’t you have a Chihuahua to take for a walk? And some recipes to give out today? Mate, you should be excited about your 2 new Raider signings. Wait, you bashed the Bengal posts about almost signing Rolando. Cheers!

  43. Redskins fan here. The Patriots are one of the best teams in the league on an annual basis, but this move is strange. Why would you give up a third for a guy that is arguably no better than Brandon Loyd or Julian Edelman? Both are still free agents and already know the system. I guess they know something that we don’t, but from the outside this doesn’t make sense.

  44. I am hoping that what has been said by several NFL types that getting Sanders would be a coup for NE as the Steelers should have put a higher tender on him. With that said, as we all sit here giving our opinions I believe the front office in New England has alot more info on Sanders than we see on Sundays.

    I am taken back on a one year contract but as we have seen this off season, In BB We Trust !

    When you look at the Patriots current roster, I don’t see alot of opportunities for first year players.

  45. You forgot to mention that you have six rings…and 2012’s statistically best pass defense that lifted your team to a thrilling 8-8 season.
    Pittsburgh fans will need those terrible towels to cover up all the extra stains on their couches caused by the beer being hurled into the air every time Flacco connects with Smith, Jones, Pitta, Doss, Rice, Pierce, and Dickson. Woo hoo!!!!

  46. It was Boldin who should have been Superbowl MVP.

    As a Steelers fan I think they should take the third round pick and then draft a replacement wide receiver. Wallace is OK, but he gets hurt way too often. The last great receiver they drafted in the third round was Mike Wallace!

  47. Ravenator is right. I mean, he obviously is an astute football historian.

    99.9% of the time, the teams that sign the most free agents end up winning the Superbowl. Losing free agents more often than not spells doom for the franchise.

    Plus, there is no chance that the Steelers could replace Emmanuel Sanders’ production with a third-round selection, much less improve upon it.

    Sanders put up 626 yards and one touchdown last year. Do you really think a rookie could replicate that? I mean, sure, Mike Wallace had 900 yards and 8 touchdowns in his rookie season. But he was obviously a first-round draft pick, and that can be expected from a first-round draft pick. However we are talking about a third-round pick that the Steelers will get as compensation.

    Wait, what’s that? Wallace was the 84th pick in the draft? The Steelers will have picks number 79 and 91 in the third round this season?

    I hate it when statistics, logic, historical data, and facts get in the way of my argument.

  48. Things aren’t looking good for the Steelers, that’s for sure. After the complete fail, which was the 2008 draft, the few good players that Dumbo has been able to draft, are all leaving town.

    Nope, doesn’t look good in the Steeltown. Can’t expect much when the keys to the franchise were handed to a moron.

  49. Looks like BB is cashing in his chips. He isn’t looking too far into the future. It most likely means that retirement is near.

  50. Yes, deep WR class. But they also need O line depth, a starting LB, starting RB and likely 2 starting WR’s. That’s asking a LOT out of a draft.

  51. The 1 year deal is confusing, because the Patriots will have to either tag him or subject him to FA at the end of the year. They can’t have him sign 2 contracts in a year.

    I’m really not understanding the 1 year deal.

    And lol at all of the Steelers and Ravens fans posting in a topic about a Patriots signing.

  52. ravens have lost lots of players..and replaced most of them while getting younger. steelers have lost lots of players and done nothing. ravens will be looking down on the steelers for years to come and longing for the good old days when the steelers were good

  53. This is all part of something bigger. BB isn’t going to go without draft picks, there will be a deal between the Browns and Patriots with Tampa possibly included on draft day.

  54. As a Patriots fan I can not stress enough how much I want the Steelers to match this.

    I can’t believe the Patriots went ahead with this, he’s so not worth a third round pick. Why waste yet another draft pick on another team’s castoff in a year where you are already strapped for pick and have several needs? Ugh. Awful decision.

  55. Big Ben has got 2 superbowl wins…Joe Flacco the average qb has 1. I think this puts Big Ben definitely much higher then sub-par. You really need to go back to math school buddy.

  56. If you think us Ravens fans are annoying, you should read the previous 15 ravens articles on PFT. You’ll find a whole lot of Steeler kids trolling on such newsworthy articles like Bryan Hall moving to ILB.

    Sorry but an RFA being poached is actually news – it basically never happens – and its the Patriots no less, who are not exactly nobodies in the AFC.

    if they’d stop operating their salary cap like the country of GREECE, they’d stop making the news for things like this.

  57. The offer is probably a one year deal that will be really difficult for the Steelers to match. Once he’s official in NE they will most likely negotiate a longer deal. They’d be crazy to give up a 3rd rd pick and and risk only keeping him for one season. Just another poison pill.

  58. Extra 3rd rounder? We’ll take it! Major talent at wideout in this years draft and Sanders has proven to be an injury prone talent since day 1. He’s a great young kid, though with potential but I can’t remember him doing anything but fumble in Baltimore with nobody around him if he wasn’t nursing some kind of foot or other injury. The Steelers could use the higher pick for the replacement. Thanks, BB.

  59. Those asking why give up a draft pick when it’s a good draft for receivers, wideouts typically take 2 years to develop and the Pats need someone now, not someone who will be good 3 years from now

  60. Yep. The Steeler’s front office has lost focus. I assume it’s all the man hours used polishing the 6 Lombardi Trophies. Bratbeach is right, Sanders is not worth a top 100 pick.

  61. As a Steelers Fan I’m sorry to tell you we won’t. Emanuelle is a speedy Wr. Good route runner. Just is too friendly with the injury bug. Like Amendola! But, like all Patriot fans are saying it’s a one year deal. Then he is UFA. So, Thanks Bill. You just gave us a 3rd round pick for someone we would of never signed next year. Like Mike Mayock said at the Keenan Allen Pro Day. This is the best WR class in years. And its goes all the way through the end of the 3rd with deep talent. Beers!

  62. This could just be NE angling for Pgh to use more of their remaining cap space more than trying to land the player. Strategically weaken your opponent. It depends on how big the offer is. He’s a good 3rd down guy & I know he’s hurt the Ravens a few times on 3rd down conversions.

    The 1 year deal sounds odd. That’s why I’m thinking it’s a cap thing & NE expects Pgh to match. Interesting to see what Pgh does. It’s possible a 3rd rounder can put up better numbers. Or, be a non-factor. Risk either way.

    Can September (heck, July for camps) get here already?

  63. I know you guys think that Emmanual Sanders is some stud, but in reality, he is simply a 3rd receiver with a case of the injury bug.

    Regardless of what you all think, Sanders was not going to be the starter this year. He would have remained in the slot with either Burress or Cotchery as the No. 2 WR. Sanders has a knack for catching 3rd down passes for 1st downs and that’s about it.

    He is not a red zone guy, he is not a deep speed receiver, and he is short. Basically, he is in about the same spot Antwaan Randle El was in when he jetted out for WAshington. He ended up as an underachiever because everyone expected way too much of him.

    If the Pats signed him to a $1 million contract for a year, I think the Steelers should and will match. Anything more, and they will let him walk. The only effect that will have on 2013 is there will be few 3-wide-receiver sets… No more, no less.

  64. no question ben has had a great career…his record speaks for itself. however anyone who thinks that ben is better than joe right now is sadly mistaken. and why does everyone think that joe owes half his contract to boldin. clearly he had a great playoff run but boldin didnt catch every td and make every play. how about 3rd and 13 to pitta against denver with the season on the line. or jacoby or torrey making big plays. q wasnt worth a 7.5 cap hit and didnt want to take a cut so he was traded. all will be well. go ravens

  65. I am not worried about the number of draft picks the Patriots have this draft. Realistically what holes do they have on their roster that a 3rd 4th 5th or 6th round pick is gonna step in and fill. The Patriots are awesome at getting undrafted FAs to fill out their roster. What player in the 3rd round will be better than Sanders? Unless they trade out of the 1st round for a #1 next year I hope they stay put and draft where they are slotted.

  66. Pats fan with mixed emotions on this deal.

    1. I have been waiting for a decade for the Pats to join the rest of the league and add a significant WR who was over 210 and 6’2. Clearly gonna have to keep waiting on that, but you can’t argue the results.

    2. While its curious on why the Pats would give up the 3rd round pick for a one year deal, it makes some sense. With a one year deal, even a $2-3MM offer makes it unmatchable given the Steelers’ cap situation.

    3. According to league rules, AFTER the Steelers don’t match, the Pats can give him a longer term contract, as long, as the compensation isn’t lower.

    The whole one year thing is to make it harder for the Steelers to match.

    4. This is a good draft for WR’s this year, but even if you are lucky to hit on one at #91, who becomes a starter, it is HIGHLY unlikely he is going to do much his first couple of years

    5. The Pats are hoping that Sanders is another one of those guys who is just about to come into his own after 3 years of learning his trade.

    6. BTW- Sanders doesn’t have to get over 1000 yds to be successful. At best he’s going to be the 3rd or 4th option on most downs.

    7. Pats fans are looking at this as Deion Branch 2.0, only a little bigger, a lot faster, and just 26. Anything over 800 yds will be better than what they could get from the draft/

    8. This deal could work out for Steeler fans too. I think this is going to be a bit of a transitional year for them, and the pick will help.

    9. But I’d caution their fans, that although this draft has a deep WR class, it isn’t going to be an instantaneous fix.

  67. It’s the 29th pick in the 3rd round. That’s nothing.

    The Patriots have a better record signing and trading for pro receivers than they do drafting them. i.e. Moss, Welker, David Patten. Good move.

    He’ll do a lot better with Brady than he did with guys like Charlie Batch.

  68. As a Steelers fan I’d take the pick. They can draft Eifert in rd 1 to play in the slot once Heath is health and in the 3rd sign Steadman Bailey. They also can sign Steven Breaston. Take the pick.

  69. Big Ben has lost his best receiver then gone on to the SB the NEXT year twice. When Joe Flacco does that call me.

  70. Id rather have the 3rd rd pick and have him for 4 years than Sanders for 1 year at more money.

  71. The Steelers will still come in at their usual bottom third in scoring offense ranking somewhere around 21st-24th in the league and rely on the defense to carry them on its back as usual.

    It’s not like they are losing all these players from some high flying greatest show on turf / fun bunch offense that can actually score over six points a game.

    The Steelers could have Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and an in his prime Jerry Rice and still miss the playoffs even with the number one defense in the entire NFL.

    Nobody wants to admit it but the emperor has no clothes. The problem is Roethlisberger.

  72. Losing Sanders will have about as much impact as a Deion Sanders tackle.

    Making a statement akin to, “…no way the 91st pick will be as productive/good as Sanders” is just foolish.

    “Boom”, “bust”, or “lunch-pail-reliable” are all possibilities for a late third rounder.

    …for the value, I say “no brainer.” Let him go, and relish the pick.

  73. I realize steeler fans now think he stinks because he’s(probably) not on the team anymore, but the Pats may see big upside when they get him into their system and take advantage of his considerable route running skills. Welker hadn’t done much when they tendered him either, but fit their system. Maybe the Pats feel Sanders is better than someone they could draft at the end of the 3rd rnd. With only about 2 mil under the cap, it’ll be hard for the steelers to match any reasonable offer. We’ll see what happens if Brady gets a hold of him.

    Love how steeler fans think the GM can just snap his fingers and draft players better than Sanders and Wallace and just plug them right in. No problem. Thing is, drafting is an inexact science, and the steelers need a lot of pieces. The 2008-11 drafts only produced a couple of premium players that are still on the roster(Pouncey,Brown). Don’t give me Haywood, Hood or Worilds, they’re Jags

  74. They get the pick and the $1.3mil cap space that was already allocated. Take the pick, sign Bradshaw and use those 9 picks to have the best Steelers draft in the last 10 seasons.

  75. Ravenator, don’t worry yourself about the Steelers making the playoffs because your team is done for at least a few years. And ,by the way, I thought too much made you go blind…not stupid!

  76. The Ravens are planning to move up into the first round and draft Tavon Austin AND Cordarrelle Patterson. They will replace Boldin EASILY.


  77. The Patriots used a one year deal to make sure The Steelers can not match it. Once the 5 day period is up , they will renegotiate a 3 or 4 year deal.

  78. Well, if this goes through, the Pats are (mostly) obviously not going to draft a WR in the 1st round, what a lot of people thought might happen. Can we see some defensive picks instead then? A CB looks more and more the pick, maybe. That’s the weakest spot left, really. Unless Ras-I-Downling suddenly steps up and doesn’t get injured and Dennard doesn’t get jail time and Talib keeps his play up. Then I’d call it a… strength? (Is that possible with the Pats over the last few years to call the DB section a strength?)

    After that, what for the late first rounder? My guess is BB drops out of the first round if possible for a third and fifth/sixth or something like that. That seems the most likely scenario, I think.

  79. @ravenmuscle

    A Raven fan who admits that Boldin was big loss. THere’s no one in this draft that can replace Boldin meant to Joe Flacco. Get real.

  80. I can’t wait to see the look on Big Ben’s face when he travels to NE and sees his favorite target on the other side the field tearing through that porous secondary. And the same thing will happen when Miami comes to Pittsburgh. This would make me drink like a champion today!!!

  81. @joemontanawasthegreatest

    We bashed him when he was still on the team. ala Mike Wallace. Get your facts straight.

  82. This post was created at 10:36 a.m.

    ravenator is the FIRST 2 comments at 10:37 a.m and 10:38 a.m.

    Classic for a hater to spend so much time with the refresh button on a team that he thinks is irrelevant and non-existent. His schtick is up. He bleeds black and gold and doesn’t even know it. Sad.

  83. Sanders doen’t do much against the Ravens so I don’t care if he leaves the AFC north or not. I was happy to see Santonio leave however because he was a Ravens KILLER!

  84. @morganstan100

    He’s done that already when they played the Giants and Jets. (BUrress and Holmes). Went to the Super Bowl without them both times.

    It will be sweet when the Ravens have to open the season in Pittsburgh. 0-1 to start the season off in Ratbirdville.

  85. NFL wants a competitive game for week 1, which means Ravens at Denver. Probably save the matchup at Heinz field for week 16 when the Ravens can rest their starters for the playoffs and Steelers can pray for at least one victory in 2013. After that, Big Ben can drink like a champion.

  86. Ravens fans:

    You guys realize its April, right?…I mean the season has not started. Jeez-o-Lou, you guys…calm down. How in the world did the Ravens win next year’s SB already?

    Anything can happen between now and the end of next season. For all we know, next years SB winner could be the Bengals or the Seahawks.

    All of the moves made by each franchise during the off-season won’t mean much if they do not draft well. Injuries, as always, will also play a major role in who gets hot at the end of the season.

    Joe Flake-O could get injured, ya know…js


  87. I ask any Steeler fan – – what is the signature Emmanuel Sanders play? I can’t think of one (and I CAN think of one for Limas Sweed!).

    On the other side, there are two things that jumpt to mind with Sanders – – breaking his foot and fumbling a ball with no one ten yards around him last season.

    If we aren’t going to resign him next year anyway, then you absolutely let him walk and take the third rounder for a team that has found useful receivers in the later rounds recently (Wallace 3rd, Sanders 3rd, Brown 6th).

    With all that being said, I think Sanders would be a boon for the Patriots. His quickness/shiftiness makes me think of a Patriots receiver.

  88. Steeley McBeam says: Apr 10, 2013 10:46 AM

    This draft is loaded at WR and when we get a better one who can play more than the slot for 5 years under a rookie contract this is going to be a huge plus.

    However, to poach a RFA for a one year contract seems extremely shady. It is the Pats were talking about so I guess I shouldnt be surprised.
    We dont believe you, you need more ppl. Nothing wrong with signing a RFA whens you follow the right protocol. And they did. As for the Pat dig, Steelers fans cant talk bcuz the Steel Curtain was made Steriods. Just saying

  89. chc4 says:
    Apr 10, 2013 11:04 AM
    Why are Ravens fans so needy and annoying? You’d think they’d be enjoying their SB instead of worrying about others.
    LOL! Say the steeler troll who’s fellow steeler trolls have been posting anti Ravens stuff since winning the Super Bowl! I mean really? Tebow beat you guys two seasons ago, and they didn’t even make the playoffs last year! Losing this guy to the pats hurts especially after losing Wallace.

  90. Again ravenator shows his lack of intelligence. Sanders is still a Steeler until they decide to match or not.

  91. Love how people are saying this draft is LOADED at receiver? What draft are you looking at, the best receiver is 5’9 175, the second best is a head case. The third best probably is Da’Rick Rodgers and he got thrown off a SEC team and played at Tenn Tech.

    This draft is not good, not as bad as 2009 but not good. And the Pats can have less picks because they frankly do not have that many openings on their team. The Donald Jones signing will be HUGE, putting E Sanders on the other side with Amendola and the Tight Ends (with Jake Ballard being the 3rd TE) and they will be fine.

    Just need a DTackle and a CB in the draft

  92. 3rd round draft picks have been a mixed bag for the Steelers. Depending on the $$, might be better to keep Sanders

    2012 Sean Spence — smallish ILB, lost for season with injury
    2011 Curtis Brown — has not been that productive when needed
    2010 Sanders — Patriots want him, nice back up WR
    2009 Kraig Urbick — Guard that was always hurt, playing for Buffalo
    2009 Mike Wallace — Speedster now with Miami
    2009 Keenan Lewis — CB came into his own last year, now with NO
    2008 Bruce Davis — LB never saw the field
    2007 Matt Spaeth — TE good blocker, bad hands back with Steelers
    2006 Anthony Smith — CB lasted one year
    2006 Willie Reid — WR lasted one year
    2005 Trai Essex — backup OL
    2004 Max Starks — OT they keep trying to replace and he keeps coming back

  93. Giving Brady a new toy with some experience. Not a bad move considering a draft pick can be hit or miss. Patriots need to make moves to return to the SB as many times as possible in the next few years as Brady is on the wrong side of 30. Drafting a project WR that can be groomed wouldn’t help that objective.

    Since the Steelers have been on a decline last two years (and it appears will continue) the Patriots have moved to the top of the team I love to hate as a Ravens fan.

  94. The reason the Pats are willing to give up a 3rd for Sanders is simple… You only have a 53 man roster. The last two years the team has gone to a Superbowl and the AFC championship, there’s not a ton of spots to fill on this team. Since 2009 every draft they have had 7 or more picks and have filled the team with young players. Anyone that knows how Belichick operates knows he would rather spend a 3rd round pick on a proven receiver who is young than risk drafting a player that might not make the team. Playing in the Pats offensive with Brady could make Sanders productive as an outside threat.

  95. This is a GREAT deal for the Pats. Think about it, the Pats insert Sanders into one of the best offenses in the league and he puts up monster numbers or even good numbers. He walks as an unrestricted Free Agent next year and signs with someone else….and the Pats get a 3rd round comensatory pick. Brilliant!!!!! Also, I can see why it may be onl;y a 1 year deal….Sanders may have required that so he could test free agency next year. Brilliant on both parties

  96. My analysis has led me to believe the Raiders fans are generally the most whiny and annoying on here, followed closely by Ravens fans. Now that the Ravens have won the SuperBowl, I’m anticipating a shift in this year’s power rankings, with the Ravens jumping up to the top spot.

  97. patsfiend, I guess with Brady and Belichick associated with your team you’ve seen enough whining to know what it looks like. I’ll take your comment as credible then.

  98. Hahaha. That’s funny. Know what else is funny? Shutout in the 2nd half of the AFC championship.

  99. Gotta love the trollers on all Steeler articles. A sign of jealousy and fear. Go ahead. Admit it. You wanta be just like us!

  100. Why is it you Steelers fans are so obsessed with the Ravenator? You have your own jackass in benroethalsberger7. As for your 6 Superbowls meaning anything, who is still with the organization from the first 4 (other than the owners)? If Sanders is no great loss, why did the Steelers tag him? Did they have $1.3m they did not need? Yes, getting a #3 does take some of the sting out of it, but it still stings. Let’s remember, the Steelers went 8-8 last year and the last time they were in the playoffs, they lost to Tim Tebow.

  101. I agree..but you can say that about their drafting as a whole.. Especially 2006 2008 2009. The only way we keep Manny is to do more restructuring and that’s not the answer. Lets hope the “Brain Trust” takes this bonus pick and uses it the right way.

  102. ravenator | Apr 10, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT
    If Joe is “average” and won a superbowl MVP, what does that make Ben? Sub-par?

    Hey genius, when Joe goes to three SB call me and we can decide on a label to fit Ben…..moron

  103. i dont whats worse listening to all the excuses why the steelers have not done anything the last 2 years. are the never ending we have six trophies crap.

  104. That’s great. Sanders can’t catch and is always hurt. He wasn’t going to be resigned anyway. Lots of wr in the draft and a few in free agency. Love for the Steelers to get a top TE in the draft. Burris will have a huge year in the red zone too. Here we go Steelers! Here we go!

  105. Here’s to Cleveland and Cincinnati topping the Ravens and Steelers in that division for years to come.

  106. i cant help but love bellichek.. every year he puts up the best team. he play different teams different every week and usually wins. he attacks your weakness on D which is why random guys get the big yards at WR each week. one year hes killing you with WRs next year its running and TES. he gameplans and changes according to whats not working.. as a NYG fan i admire that bec kevin gilbride doesnt have a single adapt to the game kind of mentality at all. BB is the best coach ever the nfl has seen..

  107. Ever wonder why that idiot is the 1st to post on practically every Stiller article ???
    Must sit there with his cook in hand, holding his breath waiting for Glorious-Florious to up load any PITT-related headline…

    Personally, I like Sanders and think he fits well with what PITT has done in the past. But now with HALEY, hard to say what might be in store. Won’t be surprised if we match & retain

  108. lovefootball4life says: Apr 10, 2013 2:22 PM

    patsfiend, I guess with Brady and Belichick associated with your team you’ve seen enough whining to know what it looks like.

    Yup, us Pats fans sure do know what whining sounds like, Jackson. We have heard crybaby fans like yourself whine about how it is unfair for a team you do not root for have such a fabulous
    Coach/QB winning games, titles, setting records for over a decade now.
    Sounds like my thanksgiving day meal’s last gobble before I behead it.

    You gobble well.

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