By: Derek Havens
3/17 — Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest reported Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert said the Patriots have not officially signed the Steelers wide receiver to an offer sheet.
Several reports indicate New England still has interest in Sanders, but are still looking at other options. For now, the Patriots are very thin at the receiver position, but it is only March 17; a lot can change in the next few months.
I will continue to update this story as it develops.
The New England Patriots have reportedly signed Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Dulac reports the signed offer sheet has been signed and will force the Steelers to match the offer or let him join the Patriots.
According to the NFL Collective Bargaining agreement, Pittsburgh will have five days to match the offer once it has been received by the team. The offer can be received either by mail, or by an emailed PDF from New England.
The Steelers assigned Sanders a low-round tender, which means a new team — in this case the Patriots — would have to surrender the player’s original draft round as compensation. Sanders was a third-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Pittsburgh does not have a lot of money to spend as they are fighting to stay under the league salary cap, but have already lost wide receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins earlier this week.
From the Patriots perspective, adding Sanders would be a nice addition to New England’s aerial attack. With a limited number of draft picks, however, signing the Steelers wide out would mean the team has only four picks for April’s draft; a first round, second round and two selections in the seventh round.
Similar to the Wes Welker deal in 2007, the Patriots and Steelers could agree on a trade for the receiver as well.
Overall, this is a fluid situation with a lot of possibilities. I will post an update over the next few days as more information is available. Stay tuned.
Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!