Dec 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (88) runs the ball against Cleveland Browns defensive back Trevin Wade (26) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers have opted to match the New England Patriots offer of one year 2.5 million dollars to retain WR Emmanuel Sanders. The Steelers had until today to match the offer and they let it come right down to the buzzer before deciding to retain the WR.
This worked out about as well as it could have for the Ravens. The Patriots dont get another offensive weapon and the Steelers are in a worse cap situation than ever. They had just over 2 million coming into the day(which included Sanders origional tender worth 1.323 million), that means with the new 2.5 million dollar cap hit on the books the Steelers now have less than 1 million in cap left. They have somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000-600,000 left. That means that in addition to not being able to sign any free agent that isnt a vet minimum contract, they also are going to have to either cut some players or restructure some contracts to sign their rookie class. The Steelers will probably get a pretty good player at 17, but they are going to have to find a way to pay the money that the 17th pick commands. The Steelers will also likely lose Sanders in free agency next year, which means they basically gave up a third round pick(what the Patriots would have had to give them if they had signed Sanders) for one year of Sanders services.
I love it, The Steelers are in a terrible spot, the Patriots gamble on a player contract and have it blow up in their face as they dont get the guy they wanted, this could not have worked out better.