John Elway: Emmanuel Sanders had issues, and we had issues

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Only 11 days ago Broncos General Manager John Elway insisted the team had no players on the trading block. On Tuesday, Denver traded receiver Emmanuel Sanders and a 2020 fifth-round draft choice to the 49ers in exchange for 2020 third- and fourth-round selections.

So what changed?

“I think eventually with what happened after the Tennessee game [a 16-0 victory] and where we were and with the value we were getting for him, we decided it was the best thing for our team to trade Emmanuel,” Elway said in a news conference Tuesday.

He would not elaborate.

Sanders had three targets, one catch and no yards in the win over the Titans. Ruled out for the second half with a knee injury, Sanders played only 25 of 60 snaps.

Then, the Broncos were blown out by the Chiefs in a Thursday night game.

Elway confirmed Sanders requested a trade. Five teams showed serious interest in Sanders, according to Nicki Jhabvala of TheAthletic.com.

“When we looked at it, Emmanuel had issues and we had issues,” Elway said. “That is why it was a good time for us to go different directions — for Emmanuel to go in a different direction and for us to go in a different direction. With that being said, we were able to get the value that we thought was fair. That is why we decided to make the deal.”

Sanders leaves Denver seventh in career catches (404), 10th in receiving yards (4,994) and fourth in total 100-yard receiving games (19). But he had only 10 targets, seven catches, 69 yards and no touchdowns the past three games.

“He did a nice job for us,” Elway said. “Emmanuel had a lot of catches and played hard. He was a competitive guy. He did a good job while he was here. We thought it was the best move again for us as well as for Emmanuel. Emmanuel was very good for the 5 1/2 years that he was here.”

52 responses to “John Elway: Emmanuel Sanders had issues, and we had issues

  1. I know New England was interested when he was a FA years ago
    I wonder if Elway had a higher price for the pats because they are the Pats
    Hopefully Sanders rocks it in SF and Elway can figure out his quarterback situation to get that team going again

  2. Local media is saying he probably faked the injury and pulled himself from the Tennessee game. Smart move on his part.

  3. Why not just take the highroad, John? Whatever happened after the Tennessee game should be kept in house. The only answer that needs to be heard by the press is “we got a good deal for Emmanuel, and Emmanuel gets to go to an undefeated football team with a chance to compete. It was a win-win for everyone“.

  4. “Elway confirmed Sanders requested a trade. Five teams showed serious interest in Sanders, according to Nicki Jhabvala of TheAthletic.com.”

    ****************************************************************************

    Just to remind you all, here’s the narrative that players who want a way out can get one.

    Sanders didn’t have to fake an injury or do anything crazy. He just wanted out. The Broncos were able to find a trade partner and happily obliged. It’s that hard.

  5. The only issues the Broncos have is John Elway is still the GM.If that doesnt change nothing else will change.

  6. Darn good player for the Broncos but his stats give you a really clear picture of just how much more passing there is now than even a decade or so ago. In just 5 1/2 seasons (where he only played a full 16 games twice and wasn’t even the first option most of the time) he’s top 10 in basically every receiving stat.

  7. Broncos have a major problem called John Elway! What qb you going to bring in next year John? Another Manning?

  8. Lot of HATERS on previous 49ERS posts saying the team is overrated, not legit and products of a weak schedule.

    So let’s take a closer look at the majority of NFL fans/media outlets so called best NFC teams. Only based on facts

    Green Bay- lost to (3-4) Philadelphia in Lambeau. Same Eagles team that was beat down sunday night vs Dallas.

    Dallas- lost to NYJ and a Drew Brees-less
    New Orleans team.

    Philadelphia- beat up by Dallas and Detroit at home

    New Orleans- playing well without Brees but went to LA Rams and gave up over 30points in that game and over 500yds of offense.

    Seattle- lost to Baltimore. The same Baltimore team that lost at home to Cleveland surrending over 30 points in that game. Cleveland the following week came to SF and got overwhelmed scoring 3points and held to under 200 total yds

    LA Rams- lost head to head at home vs SF
    Scored 7points total and held to under 200yds offense. Let’s not forgot SF played on a short week, while LA played previous Thursday with 4days extra rest. No gurley no talib but 49ERS had no Staley mcglinchey,jueschyk, or Witherspoon

    Minnesota- lost to Green Bay at home and lost to Chicago

    Chicago- lost to GB,Oak and then lost ugly to NO

    Detroit- who is underrated and better then most think. Lost some tough ones but is a
    good team. Beat Philadelphia in Philadelphia and should have won in GB

    SF49ERS- beat TB who smashed LA Rams. Smacked Cinncy. Beat Pitt despite 5 turnovers. Manhandled Cleveland. Held LA Rams in check in LA. Beat Washington in a mudpitt.

    Still undefeated despite missing both offensive starting tackles and playing with 4th and 5th string OT’s, missing starting FB, missing #2 starting CB, and played weeks 1-4 without starting FS.

    SF still has LA, Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay and Baltimore on schedule.

  9. That may very well be true. But the biggest issue of all is you, mr elway. You leveraged your relationship with the Bowlen family into a position where you get credit if they win, but escape blame when they lose. You had no prior personnel experience and it shows. You were an amazing player but you are a horrible executive. You need to step down because obviously the Bowlen family won’t ever fire their favorite son, although they should. Do us all a favor and step down.

  10. Denver has issues at quarterback, ever since Peyton Manning retired. They also had issues at quarterback before Peyton Manning signed with them.

  11. I remember when he agreed in principle to be a Chief and then went on a plane and signed in Denver. Can’t blame him, as a guy whose job it is to catch passes it is a better career decision to go with peyton manning over anybody the chiefs had before Mahomes. That said, always thought of him like a paid gun and this move seems in line. Denver is one of my least favorite teams but you won a super bowl there. A few more seasons and they’d have retired your number.

  12. John Elway, I believe you sir have become part of the issue. You can’t seem to draft a franchise QB and then you trade for 36 year old Flacco, whom wasn’t the answer and he stated he wasn’t going to groom a rookie. Elway, sir, I believe it’s time for you to go. I am saying this as respectfully as I can being a Chiefs fan. We went thru the same ordeal with King Carl at the end of his tenure.

  13. as a Raider fan, i got mad respect for elway as one of the great QBs in the history of the NFL. but as a gm? sure he grabbed Manning, what gm on the planet wouldnt have? more like Manning chose to go to denver. but since then? its been all bad.

  14. And he kept his complaining and trade request in house. Good for him. I wish him well in SF and will miss him in Denver. If the current offense up there continued his trade value would have slowly gone down so it was a good deal for both parties.

  15. I really enjoyed Elway as a player but he really is’nt a GM at all. Bowlen GAVE him the job as a reward for getting the Broncos 2 Super Bowls & being a Bronco legend, but Pat is gone and that debt has been paid. Hope the estate gets control and they start the rebuild Denver needs. In the meantime, this was good trade for both parties.

  16. Megadeals on defense never work. It has never paid off for a team. Von Miller is still a good player, but it is hard to win when you commit so much money to one player, in addition to eventually having to pay a QB.

    You are starting to see the same thing in Chicago. As good as Khalil Mack is, he is one out of 11 players on the field at a time, and you lose other quality athletes when you pay him so much.

    That’s not even mentioning how Elway has botched the QB position since day one.

  17. As a Ravens fan who’s watched Flacco his entire career, Sanders isn’t a Flacco type receiver. He’s never done well with the speedy, shifty route runners. If you look, the receivers/tight ends that Flacco had the most success with was Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Todd Heap, and Dennis Pitta. What did they all have in common? Great at making contested catches. Although D Mas was a heck of a route runner too. Flacco is inconsistent with his accuracy, and he’s below average when it comes to reading defenses. What he does have is a strong arm. He likes the targets that go over the middle and he can just fire it up. Early in his career he liked the comeback and out routes that D Mas would run. He’ll throw it up on a 9 route to a speedster too. Other than that, you better be a Ray Rice style running back he can check down to.

  18. Look at how John Lynch built a team and look at Elway. John Lynch has drafted well and sprinkled in some veteran help with playoff and SB experience. He built a young tough defensive front and the back end of his defense. He brought in a young bright offensive minded coach to balance out his defensive philosophy. They traded for their franchise QB, who dosen;t have to do too much YET as the the offense is built a creative running game. Very impressive. I am sure Fangio wants to build his defense with HIS guys. But in that division you have to keep pace with the Chiefs who are always going to put up points.
    Samuels doesn;t have to be the savoir in San Fran but he will be a legit number option. Not a 4erty whiner fan on any level. But they are fun to watch and have been constructed in a tough hard nosed way. Just like their GM. Impressive.

  19. Broncos are rebuilding and Sander has been nicked up the past couple seasons and has not played up to his high standard, I can understand why he would want to move on. He is on the wrong side of 30 and is on his last year of his deal. Good trade for both teams. Good luck to ES10. In Elway We Trust. GO BRONCOS!

  20. I have never seen opposing fans hate a GM so much. I don’t get it. You people even insult his appearance. I’ve never seen so much passion for a GM of another team… Why are you people so upset? Is everyone secretly a diehard Broncos fan?

  21. gimmickface says:
    October 22, 2019 at 9:51 pm
    I’m assuming the issue that Sanders had was that Joe Flacco was his quarterback
    ———————————————————————————
    Wait. What? I was for sure certain that was a mannequin playing QB for Denver. That was a living, breathing human?!

  22. What qb you going to bring in next year John? Another Manning?
    ———————————————
    A season with 55 touchdown passes. Two seasons with Super Bowl trips and one win. You’d hope John Elway has learned from those failures.

  23. kevinlawrencecantor says:

    October 23, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Megadeals on defense never work. It has never paid off for a team. Von Miller is still a good player, but it is hard to win when you commit so much money to one player, in addition to eventually having to pay a QB.

    You are starting to see the same thing in Chicago. As good as Khalil Mack is, he is one out of 11 players on the field at a time, and you lose other quality athletes when you pay him so much.

    That’s not even mentioning how Elway has botched the QB position since day one.

    Didn’t the Tampa Bay Bucs win the superbowl? Didn’t they have Derrick Brooks, Waarren Sapp, Rhonde Barber and Simeon Rice’s big contracts on their books and hardly any big contracts on offense?

  24. Tom Brady may become a free agent next season. John Elway may be able to sign him and solve the Broncos’ issues.

  25. Again, why not the Patriots? There were 5 suitors. Were the Patriots not among them bc he would have taken them over the cap. He is a potential gamechanger a la Brown without the psychiatric diagnosis. Bill would have found a way.

    Is it that Sanders has a problem with the Patriots? He’s spurned them before, I believe when the Patriots offered more money than Denver.

    There’s more to this story.

  26. raiderbeer34 says:
    October 23, 2019 at 3:06 am

    as a Raider fan, i got mad respect for elway as one of the great QBs in the history of the NFL. but as a gm? sure he grabbed Manning, what gm on the planet wouldnt have? more like Manning chose to go to denver. but since then? its been all bad.
    ===========================================================================
    Manning chose to go to Denver because he respected Elway. That in turn led to a free agent surplus that included Wes Welker,Emmanuel Sanders,DeMarcus Ware & Aqib Talib. Elway built an elite Hall of Fame Super Bowl Defense. Elway drafted one of the best defenders of the current era in future hall of famer, Von Miller. As a raider fan you should realize its not easy to just get a franchise QB. I’m not a Broncos fan BTW. I’m pretty sure the Dolphins or Redskins have been looking for a franchise QB for much longer than Denver has.

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