Steelers never made Sanders an offer. Matched Patriots $2.5 as RFA last year, turning down 3d rd draft pick. No move to try to keep him
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) March 16, 2014
- You can't retain someone you never make an offer to.
- But perhaps the case of Will Blackwell is instructive.
- For comparison’s sake, Wheaton had 6 catches for 64 yards in 12 games.
(Editorial aside - Steel Curtain Rising’s Watch Tower has been a frequent critic of Bob Smizik, yet to his credit he sounded the alarm bell on Blackwell early.)
- In fact, during 5 years with the Steelers Will Blackwell only started two games.
In the case of Will Blackwell, the Steelers had a backstop of sorts, in the from of Courtney Hawkins.
- Hawkins had been brought in as a third wide receiver but did a serviceable job as a starter.
Should the Steelers lose Cotchery, a very realistic possibility, they essentially leave themselves with a budding super start at wide out, an unknown second year player, Derek Moye who only dressed for eight games. The Steelers are said to be planning to draft Ben Roethlisberger a tall wide out early in the 2014 NFL Draft, but counting on a rookie is less advisable than a second year man.
Steel Curtain Rising entered the 2013 off season saying that the Steelers should lock down Sanders to a long-term deal while he was cheap.
- This faith in Sanders was justified by his play as a rookie and his play during the first half of 2012, when he in many ways looked like a young Hines Ward.
But if Jerricho Cotchery bolts to Carolina, the cost of losing Sanders increases significantly.