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.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!