The Mohamed Sanu experiment is over. With reports coming out of Foxborough on Wednesday night that the New England Patriots plan to part ways with the veteran wide receiver, Sanu’s stint with the club ends in disappointing fashion — especially after the Patriots decided to invest a second-round draft pick to get him aboard from the Atlanta Falcons ahead of last October’s trade deadline.
The reason for his upcoming departure as part of New England’s roster cutdowns from 80 to 53 players are manifold. Sanu never established himself as a starting-caliber option in the team’s passing attack, was limited for most of last year due to a high-ankle sprain, failed to stand out in training camp this summer, and on top of it all carried a salary cap hit of $6.5 million.
The latter is reportedly where Sanu sees the fatal flaw in his relationship with the Patriots. As he told ESPN’s Josina Anderson shortly after news of his release broke, money might have been the main issue.
“He told me it wasn’t going to work out, which I respect,” the 31-year-old said about a meeting he had with head coach Bill Belichick before his release. “I personally think it was a money thing.”
Thus, Sanu’s tenure with the Patriots comes to an end after what can best be described as a disappointing half-season. Between his arrival in Week 8 and the team’s playoff departure on wild card weekend, Sanu played 61.3% percent of offensive snaps but caught just 27 combined passes for 218 yards and a touchdown. He also registered one 8-yard carry and returned 10 punts for 77 yards.
While his ankle injury suffered in his third game changed his trajectory after what was an otherwise solid start, production and price tag did simply not add up heading towards the 2020 season. The Patriots will therefore either fill their roster with the wideouts remaining on the team, or do something that they have done quite a bit around last season’s roster cutdown deadline: be active on the trade market.
As for Sanu himself, meanwhile, he has a simply goal when it comes to his next destination as he told Anderson:
“I still want to play where I’m valued.”