Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Why Pats are targeting WR Sanders
By Tom Carpenter
UPDATE: ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss examined the Pats' decision to sign RFA Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet. Among the six factors Reiss noted is the Pats' shoddy success rate at adding quality WRs via the draft. You can read his thoughts at the bottom of this post.
The New England Patriots have inked restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who would get a third-rounder back should they not match the offer, are struggling to stay under their salary cap. However, Schefter doesn't think the money will be the sole factor in the Steelers' decision-making process.
"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," he tweeted.
Schefter added that the "money will be modest."
The Steelers will have until Monday to make a decision. Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com has a read on why the Pats see this as a good opportunity:
Field YatesSchefter: Patriots offer WR Sanders
"Originally a 2010 third-round pick out of SMU, Sanders would add depth to a Patriots receiving core that has turned over this offseason. Former Patriots personnel man Scott Pioli told ESPNBoston.com that he believes Sanders is a better receiver than any player that would be available for the Patriots in the third round in this year's draft and that he has the skills to play both as a slot and perimeter receiver."
Mike ReissAnalysis: Emmanuel Sanders offer
"4. Track record at receiver a factor for Patriots: The Patriots’ track record of drafting and developing receivers out of college is shaky. Having seen three years of Sanders in the NFL probably gives the club more comfort in making this move, which reminds us of something Bill Belichick said at the NFL’s annual meeting in March: 'As I’ve said many times before, I think the college passing game is a lot different than the (pro) passing game -- pass protection, pass rush, pass execution and pass defense. We all look at the same film. We’re all trying to evaluate the same players. But it’s a lot easier to watch a guy in the NFL perform and translate his skills for your team than watch a guy in college perform because of the discrepancy in the passing game. It’s nobody’s fault. That’s just the way it is.'"