Emmanuel Sanders will remain with the Steelers after the team matched an offer from the Patriots.
(PhatzRadio / USA Today) — About six hours before the deadline to match the New England Patriots’ offer to Emmanuel Sanders, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done just that.
The team on Sunday matched the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet for the restricted free-agent wide receiver, Sanders’ agent, Jordan Woy, told USA TODAY Sports in an email.
The Steelers, who later confirmed the move, retained Sanders rather than take the Patriots’ third-round pick as compensation.
Pittsburgh tendered Sanders at his “original round” level (i.e. the round in which he was drafted). The tender came with a salary of $1.323 million, so the Patriots’ interest helped Sanders nearly double his salary for the 2013 season.
The Steelers lost wide receiver Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins in free agency. That made Sanders even more valuable to the team.
The Steelers had a little more than $1.9 million in salary-cap space this weekend, so they’re right up against the cap. They’ll have to clear room to sign their draft picks in the coming months. Safety Troy Polamalu’s contract might be restructured to help make that happen.
The Patriots were looking to make Sanders the latest addition to their corps of wide receivers this offseason, along with Danny Amendola, Mike Jenkins and Donald Jones.
Perhaps New England will now use the third-round pick they retained to help find a receiver in the draft.
The Patriots already have an all-time franchise-low five picks.
NFL: Steelers match Patriots’ offer for Emmanuel Sanders is a post from: PhatzRadio.com
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