Emmanuel Sanders leaves Steelers for Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals


Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is the latest in free agents who have signed elsewhere.  In a deal completed on Saturday, Sanders signed a new three-year deal with the Denver Broncos worth nearly $18 million according to NFL sources.

Prior to the 2013 NFL Season, Sanders was an unrestricted free agent whom the Steelers brought back to the team after the New England Patriots offered the receiver a $2.5 million contract.  The Steelers matched the offer and Sanders caught 67 passes for 740 yards and six touchdowns in all 16 regular season games last season.

Hampered by injuries and questioned by some in the Steelers organization as losing a step due to injuries, Sanders dropped passes that many felt were catchable and caught a lot of online flak for poor performances.  The Steelers opted to give fellow receiver Antonio Brown the higher-paying contract.  The Steelers allowed Sanders to test free agency this past week.

After being associated with talk of possible moves to the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sanders signed with the Broncos.  Following the loss of veteran receiver Eric Decker, Sanders was signed after passing a team physical.

Despite controversy around the league that Sanders and his agent, Steve Weinberg, were misleading in their negotiations, Sanders made a statement that everything was business.
“That entire situation is a business ordeal that some people will turn into a personal matter,” Sanders said at the press conference announcing his signing in Denver. “Situations like that happen all the time over the National Football League. There was no handshake. There was no kind of agreement in terms of—we were close to a deal, but it wasn’t anything official just yet. In terms of shopping around, we didn’t shop around. Teams were still calling. Teams were still trying to get involved. That’s what happened. Steve Weinberg, he did an exceptional job in terms of the whole free-agency process. At times, I was like, ‘Steve, what is going on? Am I flying East Coast or West Coast?’ But I believe in him. Everything that he said was going to happen, happened. I ended up at the place that I needed to be. I’m excited and he’s excited also.”

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