The New England Patriots have submitted an offer sheet to Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, according to Jason La Canfora. Adam Schefter of ESPN adds that the Patriots offer is only for one year, something that isn't expected to hold back Pittsburgh.
As a restricted free agent, Sanders was tendered at the third round level, which means the Steelers can either choose to match the Patriots offer or decline to match it and recoup the Patriots third round pick in exchange for losing Sanders.
Money in Emmanuel Sanders' one-year offer sheet with NE will not scare PITT. But Steelers could opt to take NE's 3rd-rd pick instead.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2013
And PITT has until Monday to match the offer sheet or take NE's 3rd-rd pick. Again, money won't be determining factor. Money will be modest.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 10, 2013
New England wants to add another wide receiver to the mix after releasing Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd was a productive player but never quite clicked with Tom Brady and the offense, posting 74 receptions, 911 yards and four touchdowns. Along with losing Wes Welker, the Patriots are clearly trying to overhaul their receivers.
Last season, Sanders caught 44 balls for 626 yards while finding an end zone once. Going into his fourth season, the 26-year-old out of SMU has 1,290 yards in his career.
Pittsburgh would be feeling the loss of Sanders after already losing Mike Wallace in free agency, left only with Antonio Brown in the playmaking receiver category.