December 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) reacts after making pass reception for a first down against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Cincinnati Bengals won 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

AFC North: Steelers Likely to Match Patriot's Offer Sheet for Emmanuel Sanders



It’s been a tough offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they’ve watched several key starters depart via free agency. They’ve already lost their leading receiver in Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins, and their third-leading receiver in tight end Heath Miller is coming off a torn ACL, and it’s unclear if he’ll be ready for the start of the 2013 season. Now, they may be close to losing their fourth-leading receiver in Emmanuel Sanders to the New England Patriots:


Sanders was also second on the team in punt returns (9 for 93 yards).

The Steelers now have five days to match the offer sheet, and they remain in a crunch in terms of available space even after restructuring several contracts. They may try to restructure deals for other veteran players to match the offer and still have enough cap space to sign their draft picks. If they choose not to, the Patriots would send a third-round draft pick in 2013 to the Steelers.

The latest report from ESPN’s Ed Werder is that the Steelers will in fact match the offer sheet.


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Tags: AFC North Steelers

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