Steelers wide receiver finally signed an offer sheet with the Patriots on Tuesday, giving the Steelers five days to match the $2.5 million, one-year deal or receive a third-round pick as compensation.
If I were Kevin Colbert, I'd take the pick and run.
In three seasons, Sanders has appeared in all 16 games one time - that being last year. And, with Antonio Brown already locked up to a long-term deal, the Steelers already have a receiver that does a lot of the same things as Sanders.
In addition, if the Steelers acquire New England's third-round pick, they would hold four of the top 91 and five of the top 115 selections in this year's draft. With that kind of ammunition, the Steelers could fill a lot of holes on their roster.
When you also factor in that, with a one-year deal, Sanders will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the 2013 season, the Steelers will be hard-pressed to re-sign him at the end of the season, ala. Keenan Lewis' situation.
If Sanders has a good season, his price tag could be more than the Steelers are willing to pay. If he doesn't have a good year, they might not want to re-sign him.
So, the Steelers should take the third-round pick now, take De'Andre Hopkins in the first round of the draft - Keenan Allen's 40 time will move him out of the first round, while Cordarrelle Patterson's stock is also falling thanks to off-field issues - and then double down on the position later in the draft.
They'll still have three picks remaining in the next two rounds to address their linebacker, safety and running back issues.
HAHAHA! You already called Keenan Allen Keenan Lewis.
Couldn't agree more. I think the reason Colbert put a 3rd rounder on him was to see if someone would take the bait. Sanders is soft (too many drops, fumbles, injuries etc.) and will leave as a free agent after the season anyway. The Steelers would not get anywhere near a 3rd round pick for him as a compensation pick as a free agent loss next year either. DC
Keenan Ivory Lewis
Funny how common that name actually is or at least variances of it.
Kenan & Kel
I'm undecided because it creates another roster spot needing filled. We were already leaning WR early before this. Does this guarantee two WR's?
Similar to how the Patriots got Welker several years ago. Wouldn't take much for the Steelers to match, since Sanders already accounts $1.3m towards the cap with his tender. Only need another $1.2m. Personally, I'd still let him walk. But first I'd make every appearance of matching the offer, and see if the Patriots might sweeten the deal like they did with Miami for Welker. See if they can get an additional 6th or 7th round pick. Couldn't hurt for trying.
The Pats never signed Welker to an offer sheet. I'm not sure that they can get anything additional out of the Pats.
100% agree, take the pick. Sanders is made of glass! The young money crew never felt very Steelers-like anyway. Wallace, Sanders and Lewis all gone...rumors of locker room issues...can't be a coincidence, can it?
"young money crew never felt very Steelers-like anyway"
exactly! Bring in a hines ward type guy like Bailey or Swope. Brown has good character and a great player- He's the chosen receiver
There’s a sense that the Steelers are hamstrung as far as cap issues. The Steelers can resign Sanders if they want and they will get $5m on June 1 for Colon, so they can sign the draft picks. However, when thinking about the holes that Dale mentioned: linebacker, safety, running back along with WR, if we lose Sanders and I think how a little cap room would have given us some serviceable veterans. I love the potential of the draft, but keep in mind that the Steelers rarely start rookies. I remember how excited I was when both Mendenhall and Sweed “fell” to the Steelers in the 2008 draft, now none of the 2008 draftees are on the team.
Will Allen played well last season, I was surprised he wasn’t resigned. Ahmad Bradshaw, if healthy, gives us a decent running back. Oakland had a house cleaning and the Steelers didn’t make a play for Heyward-Bey after they lost Wallace. Another Oakland player, though an inside linebacker, Orlando McClain, was scooped up by the Ravens for the minimum. While he did have off field issues, he’s only 23 and a change in scenery surrounded by a mature defense might help him reach his potential. All of those players would have come relatively inexpensively and bring experience to plug the holes until the rookies develop. Not saying Tomlin/Colbert are asleep at the wheel, but I don’t see the urgency from a team that went 8-8 last season. If the excuse was that injuries killed the Steelers last season, keep in mind we’re thinner today than last season.
If they match the Sanders offer, they won't be able to sign Bradshaw without redoing some contracts.
They could extend Ziggy Hood or Heath Miller to clear some room. Or even Ike Taylor, but I don't know that that is the answer - though Hood is at least young.
Guys keep in mind it only takes a couple of d-bags to ruin an entire locker room. Look at what it did this year. They have enough issues w/o bringing in anymore character issue guys like McClain or Bailey.
I say let Sanders walk, go WR in rounds 1 and 2 and get Ben some weapons again. We'll all be laughing 2 weeks from now after being so concerned about our depleted wr group. Deandre Hopkins Robert woods Antonio brown and plaxico would help ease the pain
Take the extra 3rd round pick. Take Rhodes in round 1 then bundle the 2nd and extra 3rd and move up in the 2nd round and draft Keenan Allen. I have a feeling with the knee issues, he will last into the 2nd round, but not for long. What do you think Dale?
I posted this question on the previous story, but if the Steelers match the offer, could they still sign Sanders to a long term offer this year or does the CBA only allow one contract to be signed with any one player in the same league year?
They have the option to sign him to a longer term deal. I believe the only stipulation is that they cannot reduce the salary in the first league year. So if they match the 2.5 million, any new contract must also have at least a salary of 2.5 million in 2013. Same thing with the Patriots, they can sign Sanders to an offer sheet and then negotiate a long term deal with the same stipulation, the first year salary cannot be less than 2.5 million. I believe this is so a team cannot offer a 1 year max deal to a RFA and then once the original team refuses to match, offer another contract that would be more cap friendly and therefore able to be matched by the original team.
i hear what you guys are saying about taking the 3rd round pick, but i feel like the steelers don't want to go into the season with only 1 legit starting WR (brown). the additional cap space isn't that much and can be easily solved. imo, either situation can be seen as a positive.
The bottom line is this: If Sanders were available via a trade, would they give another team a third-round pick for him?
I think not. So the third-round pick has great value. And as I stated, he'll be a FA at the end of the season again and they could lose him with little compensation - a comp pick a year later.
I think you let him leave and thank the Patriots for taking him off your hands. You went through 2012 with one lame duck receiver, why do it again with another. And believe me, Sanders could play the disgruntled player way better than Wallace.
As for taking receivers or trading up, there's no need. Lots of talented receivers in the first three or four rounds of this draft. It's the deepest position in this draft IMO.
Does that mean receiver is out of the picture at 17 in your next mock Dale?
I am still holding out hope for Lotuleilei, Ansah, or Dion Jordan fall to us in a similar fashion that Decastro did. I have seen too many drafts and know better than to believe what the mock drafters say is going to be true. The reality of it is every year a team panics and reaches on a QB or WR's and it flips the entire draft around. I can't honestly recall a time Kiper or Mcshay hit on more than 50% of the top 15 picks in the last decade of my following the draft. We have been getting away with steals in recent history drafting from the 24-32 position for many consecutive years. Best believe with the steelers sitting right in the middle of the first round that someone very high up on our board will fall right into our laps. I am very excited for draft day!
I think Lotulelei is the most likely to fall because of his heart issue - at least from that threesome.
I'm not writing off receiver. I wouldn't be opposed to taking Robert Woods or De'Andre Hopkins at 17. If that's where the value is at. Really, in this draft, there's not much, if any at all, difference between picks 10 through 45-50. Different teams might have different guys graded higher.
But in this draft, I'd rather have two picks in that grouping than a top-10 and another in the 30s. There aren't many sure-fire stars in the top 10. In fact, you could say the gap between the top player and the 50th player might be the closest I've seen in 20 years of covering the draft.
"And believe me, Sanders could play the disgruntled player way better than Wallace."
So, he's a dingbat in the locker room?
If that's the case, why are they even pondering this for 5 days? Take the pick.
i guess i should have prefaced my comments earlier in that if sanders has a great attitude and the ultimate team player, then yes, it might be worthwhile to keep him, imo.
but, if he has the propensity or potential to be a problem in the locker room, then absolutely take the pick.
He's def being pretty sensitive about comments that the they should take the pick on Twitter.
He had issues in college too for being a diva too. Hated the pick then and still do.
In the Colbert era, the Steelers have re-signed Hines Ward, and then re-signed Antonio Brown. Every other WR has walked.
I think it's obvious we have to take Eddie Lacey Rnd. 1 now.
We can land Woods or Hunter or even Patterson in round 2.
WR in the first, Safety in the second, WR and RB in the third, and linebacker in the fourth. Would love to see us land Swope as our second WR pick. Looks tough and versatile to me.
The problem with reworking contracts is that it would make our other restricted agents vulnerable. Another team could sign them for even less because there would be no way for the Steelers to sign them. We are too dangerously thin at NT to risk it.
"And believe me, Sanders could play the disgruntled player way better than Wallace."
Dale, can you explain this comment a little more?
dale, regarding your trade scenario for sanders, are you asking if the steelers (with their top three receiving threats being brown, cotchery, buress) would trade a 3rd round pick for sanders?
i would give that trade greater than 50% of going thru.
"I think it's obvious we have to take Eddie Lacey Rnd. 1 now."
Don't think there's any chance they take Lacey in the first. Apparently he was VERY unimpressive at his pro day. Had to take breaks, half-assed some drills, etc.
There's nothing wrong with a WR group of Brown, Cotchery, Burress and two rookies. They would only need one of the rookies to play right away - ala. Brown and Sanders in 2010.
Also, they could still sign a vet to fill out the roster. They've carried six WRs before. They also like Gilreath.
Are they really 50/50 on keeping Sanders??? Sounds like most think he's a goner.
If they let Sanders go, they definitely like Gilreath. He's a very similar player, size, speed...
Gilreath was signed and released by the Colts, Rams, Bills, and Bucs before signing with the Steelers in 2012. No way is he an equal talent to Sanders.
I'm guessing he's gone.
As for Gilreath, nobody is suggesting he's going to replace Sanders. He's another guy on the depth chart.
And just because a guy has bounced around doesn't mean anything. Plenty of guys have bounced around and become something - ie. James Harrison. Sometimes, it comes down to getting an opportunity.
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