Rumors of Emmanuel Sanders restricted free agent defection to the New England Patriots have been greatly exaggerated.
Just a few days ago Steelers Nation was a flurry with rumors that Emmanuel Sanders visit to the New England Patriots had resulted in a offer being tendered.
The news threatened to render the concept of “Young Money” to “Penniless Pensioner” overnight. In a single season the Steelers wide receiving corps would go from being led by the youthful trio of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, and Emmanuel Sanders, to being led by Brown, Plaxico Burress, and Jerricho Cotchery.
The news of Sanders signing was broken on multiple social media outlets, with Behind the Steel Curtain confirming the report via sources. The Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac also confirmed the news in the wee hours of the next day.
However, on Monday morning both Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin confirmed that the Steelers had not been notified that Sanders had signed an offer sheet, and the Boston Herald reported that Sanders had mentioned on his Facebook page that he’d yet to get an offer from New England.
New England did take the step of waiving receiver Brandon Lloyd, with Behind the Steel Curtain speculating that the move was to clear space to tender Sanders.
So Sanders might be New England bound. But so far the Patriots appear to be reluctant to pull the trigger.