It’s rare that you hear of the New England Patriots losing out on guys they wanted, and so far this offseason it’s happened twice. First, being outbid by the Denver Broncos after their non-negotiable offer to Wes Welker, and then today they lose out on another WR, Emmanuel Sanders, whose offer from the Pats was matched by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And just to rub a little salt into the wound, Sanders make sure the world knew of his utter joy via Twitter:
Glad the business side is out of the way. Now its back to playing football and bringing number 7 back to Pittsburgh. Love!!! #Steelernation
— Emmanuel Sanders (@E_Sanders88) April 14, 2013
So let’s see, that makes the Patriots wide receiver corps consist of Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and….well, the Patriots did manage to pick up nine-year veteran Michael Jenkins, although it’s doubtful that Jenkins will have the type of numbers that either Welker or Sanders would produce.
The rest of the widely unknown receivers on the Patriots roster consist of Kamar Aiken, Jeremy Ebert, Andre Holmes, Donald Jones, and Matthew Slater. If you haven’t heard of any of them, don’t worry–Bill Belichick hasn’t either.
One would have to wonder if Randy Moss is now eagerly awaiting to see Belichick’s name pop up on his phone.
At this late point in the game, the Patriots might have to punt when it comes to finding a free agent wideout to step in, although re-signing Deion Branch or Donte’ Stallworth–who are both unrestricted free agents–isn’t out of the realm of possibility either, given New England’s propensity for recycling older talent.
Chances are that the Patriots are now going to look to the draft to find a new vertical threat, which there is certainly no shortage of in the 2013 class. Then again, one of the anonymous sounding names from the list above may end up having a coming out party this season–again, something that the Pats seem to be able to get done quite often.
Tom Brady wasn’t happy at the news of Welker making tracks for the Rocky Mountains, and I’m sure he’s not going to be any more pleased upon hearing of the Steelers’ coup. I’m sensing some interesting sound-bytes and tweets forthcoming.