Oct 13, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) catches a touchdown pass during the second half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: New England Patriots expected to pursue Emmanuel Sanders

The New England Patriots are coming off of a season where their utter lack of receiving options ended up being their undoing in the AFC Championship game. But this offseason will be spent trying to correct that problem and it all starts with what happens with Julian Edelman.

There are rumors he could be headed to Denver or elsewhere, which means the Patriots would need to replace him in free agency. Christopher Price of WEEI.com believes that if Edelman walks, that would prompt the Patriots to re-target Emmanuel Sanders in free agency.

Some of New England’€™s interest will likely be dictated by what happens with Edelman, as there’€™s some offensive redundancy when comparing the two receivers. But don’€™t be shocked if the Patriots make some sort of play for the SMU product when free agency begins next month.

Of course, Sanders needs to actually hit fee agency first, as the Pittsburgh Steelers are only rumored to be letting him walk and haven’t actually let him go yet. If they don’t re-sign him before free agency opens, the Patriots may take a run at him regardless of whether Edelman is back or not.

Tags: New England Patriots Pittsburgh Steelers