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Friday, April 12, 2013

Sanders decision looms

John Clayton is reporting that the Steelers are 50-50 on matching New England's offer sheet to restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders.

That 50-50 split is probably between the front office and coaching staff.

For the front office, this seems like a no-brainer. Why rent Sanders for a year - and double what you had projected to pay him? Unless something really strange happens, he's unlikely to be back in 2014.

But the coaching staff is strictly looking at the on-field talent. And certainly, a healthy, happy Sanders is a better option than his 30-plus-year-old backups Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress.

The question that has to be asked is if Sanders will be happy and healthy in 2013 without a long-term contract?

The guess here is no.

And as we saw last season with Mike Wallace, that can make a difference.

I'm not saying Wallace didn't give what he thought was his best effort in 2012. But the lack of financial security certainly mattered to him. He missed all of training camp because of it.

And the questions about his status dogged him throughout the season, becoming a distraction at times.

In this instance, the front-office view seems to be the more realistic one. Why deal with another potential headache when you can get rid of it and pick up a solid draft choice at the same time?

We'll find out Sunday which side wins this discussion.


Anonymous said...

So Dale, we've heard what you think they should do. What do you THINK they will en up doing?

yo seem to have a good read on the situation

Dale Lolley said...

I think they let him walk.
They're usually pretty pragmatic when it comes to this stuff.
They've had a 50-50 track record on these.
They matched for Fuamatu-Ma'afala in 2001. They didn't match for Rodney Bailey in 2004.
Both offers also came from the Patriots.
But neither of those players was slated to be a starter.

Patrick said...

so I read on PFT, I believe, that the Pats could give him a 1 year tender, and then extend him, but the first year of that extension could only be a $2.5 mil cap hit.

The has to be what the Pats are aiming to do because it makes ZERO sense to trade a 3rd for 1 year of E. Sanders.

The other obvious side of that is why are the Steelers giving E. Sanders a raise of 1.2 mil in lieu of a 3rd round pick? Had they tagged him, I think, $700,000 higher this wouldn't be an issue. So if he wasn't worth $2 mil is he now worth 2.5? I don't think so under their logic.

I have to say though, I said this might happen and everyone thought I was crazy, including Dale. I guess it isn't so crazy now?

Joe Jones said...

Younger receivers bring more potential value in our system. Draft guys who fit Haley's offense, and let Sanders, who fumbles in mid-field with no contact on multiple occaisions, walk.

I thought he was an average slot receiver overall, but nothing special or unreplaceble.

Viktor said...

Good bye Sanders. I think the 50-50 is wether they take a WR in the first round, then maybe move up in the 2nd round for a BPA that has fallen.

Henry said...

If they let Sanders walk, they better sign Ahmad Bradshaw pending his health. The offense will be dangerously low on speed if Sanders goes.

Antonio Brown and a rookie will literally be the only FAST players on O.

Anonymous said...

"Why deal with another potential headache when you can get rid of it and pick up a solid draft choice at the same time?"

Because this team is lacking in solid players. This team has done nothing but get older and bleed young talent recently. If we keep doing that we will become the Browns. Draft choices are not certainties. And in any case, what would be the point of drafting 1 more player we won't re-sign in 4 years?

Our talent is drying up, our salary cap is a mess every single year, and everyone thinks Kevin Colbert is a genius.

Anonymous said...

"Draft guys who fit Haley's offense ..."

Why? Why on Earth would you tailor the talent on your team to some fly by night offensive coordinator? Do you have any idea where Haley will be coaching in 2 years?

Here's a radical idea ... why doesn't Todd Haley tailor his offense to the talent he has to work with? In fact I could have sworn that that was supposed to be one of Haley's strengths as an OC. Of course, that was before he determined that bubble screens and 5 yard slant were the best use of Big Ben's talents.

ibygeorge said...

Ben always wanted Plexico as his #1 receiver, Colbert is just a little late. Looks like a spontanous wild cat year for Ben.

mv7267 said...

Let him go. With no runnung game and an unproven offensive line, does it really matter who is lining up outside? The #3 WR on
3rd place should be the least of their concerns.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not saying Wallace didn't give what he thought was his best effort in 2012. "

If you won't say it, Dale, I will. He clearly wasn't giving his best effort in '12. He played far better, and with more "oomph", in the past. Looked like he was going through the motions a lot.

As to Sanders: Some of y'all act like they're letting John Stallworth go. He's could be a nice player if healthy....which hardly ever is. He has fumbling issues. This is not impossible to replace or, gasp!, maybe even improve upon.

Anonymous said...

I think the decision is clear: Either figure out a way to sign him to multi-year contract or let him go.

Dale Lolley said...

Roethlisberger was playing the best football of his career before the fluke injury against Kansas City. The idea of the short passing game was to keep him upright and limit the hits on him.
That was what the offense was tailored to do.
They were 6-3 before his injury and playing arguably some of the best football in the league.
He was obviously still hurting when he came back.

As for Sanders, they didn't want to put the high tag on him because that would have locked him in at that salary. They rolled the dice because so few restricted guys have gotten offers over the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Seeing unconfirmed reports that they've matched.

Steve-O said...

Post Gazzette reporting the Steelers matched. Not a bad move but I would've preferred the draft choice