Emmanuel Sanders no big loss for Patriots

April, 14, 2013
4/14/13
7:48
PM ET

The Pittsburgh Steelers' decision to match the New England Patriots' one-year, $2.5 million offer for Emmanuel Sanders won't cause shockwaves in Foxborough. The Patriots always viewed Sanders as a luxury, not a necessity. They offered a team-friendly contract to see if Pittsburgh would match. It was a calculated risk the Patriots were willing to take.

Now that New England knows Sanders is staying in Pittsburgh, the Patriots can shift their attention to the draft. New England, as a result, will retain its third-round pick. The Patriots own just five picks total this April.

The Patriots still need depth at receiver. New England lost starters Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd in one offseason. The group of Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins, Julian Edelman and Donald Jones won't put fear in opponents. Now that Sanders is out of the picture for New England, adding the right rookie receiver in the draft could make this group work.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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