The Pittsburgh Steelers slapped restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders with the original pick tender, which is a risk for a player that has his type of upside. What the original pick tender means is that all a team would need to give up in order to land Sanders is a third-round pick and a new pay day. One team who appears to be seriously considering a run at Sanders is the New England Patriots.
Reports surfaced on Friday afternoon that the Patriots were bringing Sanders in for a visit.
Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Steelers RFA WR Emmanuel Sanders visiting Patriots today. Pats could sign him to offer sheet that cap-strapped Steelers struggle to match.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 15, 2013
As Schefter points out, the Steelers are in a tight cap situation and any reasonable offer from New England could be too much for Pittsburgh to match. If the Steelers lost both Sanders and Mike Wallace in the same offseason, their receiving corp would take a devastating hit.
All the while, New England would get a dynamic threat that has potential to develop into a true No. 1.