We ran across an article from Gerry Dulac at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in which he did a Q&A post and addressed Emmanuel Sanders’ status with the Steelers. We linked to it in one of our free agent pieces we wrote last week, but it seems that the story is being spun up by a number of sites based on Dulac’s opinion that Sanders won’t return to the Steelers for a “number of reasons.”
Here’s what Dulac wrote last week in his Steelers Q&A:
Mike from PA: Hey Gerry, if the Steelers let Emmanuel Sanders walk in free agency, do you see Pittsburgh trying to sign a free agent (Jeremy Maclin, Sidney Rice, etc.) in the offseason or stick with the five they have (AB, Cotchery, Wheaton, Moye, and Justin Brown)?
Gerry Dulac: I think they will stick with what they have, plus draft a tall receiver in the first or second round. I think they will let Sanders leave in free agency for a number of reasons and are perfectly comfortable thinking Markus Wheaton will not only replace him, but also be a much better receiver. Their intent is to take a tall receiver early — they have already indicated that to Ben Roethlisberger — another indication that Sanders will be gone.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThere’s nothing wrong with the story being spun up, that’s fine, but using the quote marks in subsequent articles like NFP and MassLive did makes the words look more official than maybe they should be intended to be for someone just skimming.
Dulac’s insight into why the Steelers don’t want to keep Sanders is helpful. Understanding that he’s not been as productive as those in the Steelers would have liked him to be and knowing that his size has limited him in that offense is helpful. It doesn’t necessarily mean that trend will continue if he goes to another team, but we as Jets fans should be wary of overpaying a player like Sanders and expecting more than second or third fiddle from a player like Sanders.