Friday, March 15, 2013

RFA Emmanuel Sanders Visits New England

In a pretty surprising bit of information today Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders is visiting the New England Patriots today.

Restricted free agency basically is where the players team (Steelers) will give the player one of four tenders:

-First refusal: $1.323M
-Original-round: $1.323M
-Second-round: $2.023M
-First-round $2.879M

If Sanders would get an offer sheet the Steelers would get five days to match the offer to keep him.

The Steelers only gave Sanders an original round pick so if the Patriots do give him an offer sheet and the Steelers can't (or won't) match then the Steelers would receive a third round pick, which was the round where Sanders was drafted.

RFAs leaving there original team isn't something that is too common as only one RFA has been signed away from his original team in the last four years (Mike Bell in 2010) so it would be somewhat shocking to see if the Patriots do give Sanders an offer sheet.

If they do decide to do that then they could make it literally impossible for the Steelers to match based on their salary cap situation.

All that being said I really don't think this happens. As I said above signing RFAs away really doesn't happen all that often and it seems like teams don't like to step on each others toes to sign away players. But, if this happens I think you might see it happen more frequently and that would certainly get interesting with players such as Victor Cruz and Dennis Pitta being RFA.

Losing Sanders wouldn't be a huge thing but at that point it is almost guaranteed it is the teams biggest need. He is replaceable and is probably only a number three receivers but he does have some talent and outside of Antonio Brown there isn't much in the receiving core. Brown really isn't a number one receiver so that Steelers could go from having a pretty good group of receiveres to not having much of anything for Ben Roethlisberger.

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