The New England Patriots will know by the end of the weekend whether restricted free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders will be their newest addition. The Pittsburgh Steelers have until Sunday to make their decision on keeping Sanders by matching New England's $2.5 million offer or letting Sanders walk and accept New England's third-round draft pick.
There are pros and cons to each scenario, which is why Pittsburgh is taking the full five days to decide. The Steelers are tight against the cap and would be paying approximately double Sanders' original salary to keep the receiver. On the other hand, Pittsburgh already lost receiver Mike Wallace to free agency with the Miami Dolphins and doesn't want to lose another potential starter.
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton recently reported that it's "50-50." Some in the Steelers’ organization want the draft pick, while others want to keep the player. New England made its move and obviously feels Sanders is better and more proven than any receiver it can get in the third round.
Sanders caught 44 passes for 626 yards and one touchdown last season.