Tagged in: Emmanuel Sanders

New Orleans Saints to release WR Emmanuel Sanders

The New Orleans Saints are releasing veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders after just one season as they keep trimming their massive salary-cap deficit, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Sanders, who turns 34 next week, confirmed the move in an Instagram post, saying:

“New Orleans it’s been real. Sucks we didn’t bring a super bowl to the city which was the goal when I signed but it was a blessing to showcase my talents in front of you guys weekend and week out. #Blessingsoblessings #Imafreeagent #Wheretonext?”

Sanders was due to make $8 million this campaign, with $2 million guaranteed. The Saints will save at least $4 million against the salary cap by releasing him — and possibly $6 million if they designate it as a post-June 1 release.

Sanders caught 61 passes for 726 yards and five touchdowns in 14 regular-season games last season. He caught another eight passes for 51 yards in the playoffs.

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The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder has a total of 662 catches for 8,619 yards and 47 touchdowns in an 11-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and the Saints. He has been selected to two Pro Bowls and has appeared in three Super Bowls — winning a title with the 2015 Broncos.

The Saints now have a big void for a No. 2 receiver alongside Michael Thomas again.

The position will rank as one of their top offseason needs, especially since fellow receiver Tre’Quan Smith is heading into the final year of his contract.

New Orleans has now released veterans Sanders, punter Thomas Morstead, tight end Josh Hill and offensive lineman Nick Easton while trimming cap space this offseason.

The Saints will possible release linebacker Kwon Alexander as well, since he is due $13.4 million after tearing his Achilles in December. The Saints started the offseason nearly $100 million over the salary cap and had decreased that number roughly in half as of Wednesday morning after they placed the franchise tag on free-agent safety Marcus Williams.

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49ers trade for Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders

The San Francisco 49ers pronounced on Tuesday they have obtained WR Emmanuel Sanders and a 2020 fifth round pick from the Denver Broncos in exchange for the team’s third and fourth round picks next year. Sanders must pass a physical for the trade to be executed.

“Emmanuel is a passionate football player whose toughness and competitive nature have helped him become a dynamic playmaker in this league,” said 49ers General Manager John Lynch.

“He possesses a number of qualities, on and off the field, that we value in our players. His familiarity in a similar offensive system will allow for a quick transition. We are excited to add Emmanuel to our roster and look forward to seeing him positively impact our team.”

Sanders (5-11, 180) was first drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Throughout his 10 NFL seasons with the Steelers (2010-13) and Denver Broncos (2014-19), he has performed in 134 games (95 starts) and registered 565 receptions for 7,391 yards (13.1 average) and 39 touchdowns.

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A two-time Pro Bowl selection (2015 & 2017), Sanders has also performed in eight postseason contests (four starts) and racked up 36 receptions for 448 yards and was a member of the Broncos Super Bowl 50 Championship team at Levi’s Stadium. This season, Sanders has started all seven games with the Broncos and registered 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns.

Off the field, Sanders was selected as a Broncos Community Ambassador winner in 2017 after launching the Emmanuel Sanders Foundation, which supports financially disadvantaged families with support and resources.

A 32-year-old native of Bellville, TX, Sanders attended Southern Methodist University where he finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (235), receiving yards (3,791), receiving touchdowns (34) and 100-yard receiving games (16). As a senior, he was named First-Team All-Conference USA and set single-season school records with 98 receptions for 1,339 yards along with seven touchdowns.

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