Archive for the ‘Emmanuel Sanders’ Category

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to match the contract offered to Emmanuel Sanders by the New England Patriots, a move which was only mildly surprising. A cap crunched team could have easily taken the third-round pick handed over by the Patriots as part of Sanders’ original-round tender, and then used that to address their need two weeks from now while picking from a deep class at the position, and paying a much cheaper price.

The argument for familiarity was evidently much more compelling, though, with general manager Kevin Colbert opting for a tried and tested option to replace part of Mike Wallace’s production and line up across from Antonio Brown. Fair enough, I guess. Now they’re paying $2.5 million for one year of a player who may not provide significant value long-term beyond the equivalent player in the third round.

But what’s interesting about the finality of the great Emmanuel Sanders decision of 2013 is that it involved more than just the Steelers and Patriots.

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers are reportedly split on whether to match the $2.5 million offer sheet the Patriots gave wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, but Adam Schefter reports that Ben Roethlisberger is at least one guy in Pittsburgh who wants Sanders to stick around.

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If we are to believe the percentages given by John Clayton, the Steelers are split in their Emmanuel Sanders decision. This isn’t any sort of playin’ around split either. No, we have a 50-50 split on our hands.

Hide your wife, hide your kids.

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sanders-ball2

When it was first reported that the Patriots signed Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet earlier this morning, the assumption was that while money — and a lack of it — will be a hurdle for Pittsburgh if they want to retain him, philosophy may ultimately carry the most weight in the Steelers’ decision. Why go through the process of shuffling and shifting when Sanders would fetch a third-round pick, and he can be replaced in a wide receiver-rich draft?

Now we know the contract offered by the Patriots, and that logic may still win.

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sanders-again2

Even after signing Danny Amendola, the Patriots still needed wide receiver depth. Brandon Lloyd was released, and as we creep closer to April 25 and the draft gets mocked with increasing frequency, wide receivers are being slotted to New England in the first round. The urgency to get more soft hands for Tom Brady’s soft lobs may have grown even more with the possibility that Rob Gronkowski could miss regular-season time.

There’s always been a widely rumored solution to this little wide receiver quandary: Emmanuel Sanders. Now, the Patriots have turned rumor into reality, signing the Steelers restricted free agent to a one-year offer sheet.

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At every awful industry conference and at every first day of something (i.e. frosh week when everyone is still sober) those getting-to-know-you games are played. They’re called ice breakers, but in truth the goal is to make asses of yourselves while doing something corny, hoping that the shared experience of looking like a complete idiot creates a common bond.

A circle is made, and a generic question is asked that prompts the answerer must be creative. If the event is Google-related the question may have something to do with a dime-sized person and a blender. Often, though, participants are asked the tried, true, and vintage questions, like what they would bring to a deserted island, or where their top vacation destination is, why, and what that says about your inner soul.

Then we get into the completely nonsensical questions, like what kind of candy bar you are. Personally, I’ve always thought of myself as Butterfinger. I stick to the roof of your mouth, and get wedged between your teeth, forcing you to make weird faces to work out the tiny particles of chocolatey goodness. In the end, the annoyance of the consumption is tolerated for said goodness.

So what kind of candy bar is Eagles rookie cornerback Brandon Boykins? We don’t know, but we definitely know that he’s a bar of some kind. Antonio Brown, one of the Steelers’ top wideouts who will oppose Boykins Sunday (although likely not directly), is an expert in these matters.

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Making comparisons that are insanely overwrought is a rite of passage this time of year. Though we’ve only seen one game, grand conclusions have been drawn in an attempt to be the first to get it right. Unfortunately I’m part of the problem. Bloggers anonymous has yet to be created – one day, one day – so I’m outing myself here. If you’re reading this, thanks, you’ve only enabled my addiction.

Today’s conclusion: Emmanuel Sanders will be this year’s Torrey Smith.

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