Back in April, you will remember the drama between Emmanuel Sanders and his offer sheet with the New England Patriots. Sanders signed a $2.5 million offer with the Patriots, but the Steelers chose to match that contract and keep Sanders through the 2013 season. Sanders will be taking Mike Wallace’s starting spot on the depth chart. This will be Sanders’ first season as a starter, but will that be enough for the contract him and his agent have talked about?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette held a chat with Steelers’ fans today and this very matter was brought up. In Bouchette’s response, he said: “I don’t think he will sign a long-term deal. It may not be lack of effort to do one, just the reality of it.”
On May 22, Sanders was on 93.7 the Fan and said that contract extension talks have been discussed between Sanders and the Steelers, however, judging by his agent’s comments when he said the offer better be good or they will go into free agency, do not expect Sanders to find himself a contract before the season starts.
In my opinion, the Steelers know better to give Sanders a big contract right now. He has not proved to be a starting wide receiver in the National Football League through three years. Sanders’ resume holds just 8 starts, 94 receptions for 1,290 yards, and 5 touchdowns.
Bouchette went on to say in his response: “I also do not think they will offer him more than they paid Antonio Brown and I believe that would be too low for Sanders to accept.”
If you remember last year when Mike Wallace turned down every offer the Steelers threw his way, the organization decided to give the contract extension to Antonio Brown for six-years, $43 million.
By no way would the Steelers give Sanders that kind of deal as we stand here today, and if Sanders wants more than Brown, I do not see that taking place either with the injury struggles Sanders has shown to have in his three seasons in the league.
Nevertheless, as I have stated before about this matter, 2013 will show Sanders’ true colors. At season’s end, Sanders becomes an unrestricted free agent barring a contract extension form the Steelers. The fourth-year wide receiver will have to show the Steelers and the rest of the league what type of threat he can be on the field to get a big contract.