It’s been reported by numerous outlets today that Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is in Boston today visiting with the New England Patriots. Earlier this week, the Steelers tendered Sanders a lower than expected offer. Should Sanders sign with the Pats or any other team for that matter it would bring the Steelers a third-round compensatory draft pick.
Of all the moves and potential moves the Steelers have made and are possibly considering, losing Sanders was not one of them. Whether Sanders leaves or not really doesn’t matter now because just the mere fact he is looking elsewhere is more than enough to tell me there is no joy in Mudville right now.
Since Todd Haley became the offensive coordinator of the Steelers, the wide receivers coach, Scottie Montgomery has left for a much lesser job at his Alma mater Duke. Offensive line coach Scott Kugler left to take the Head Coaching position at his Alma mater, UTEP. And the team finished 8-8 to boot.
While no one expected Mike Wallace to stay in Pittsburgh one way or the other, he couldn’t have bolted town faster and now you have Emmanuel Sanders exploring opportunities outside of the Steel City as well.
At what point will the ‘experts’ finally admit there are problems with this organization? Just because the Rooney Family still owns the team doesn’t mean that everything will forever remain ‘hunky-dory.’
On the other side of the ball, you have players calling out teammates anonymously and then other teammates rushing to the first camera with a shining red light to discuss the situation. As Ben Roethlisberger said, “Anytime you finish 8-8 there is going to be frustration.” I couldn’t agree more, but as I said right after Roethlisberger made his comments, I don’t agree with him that there are no fractures in the locker room. Yes, there is frustration, but it’s clear more than ever that it goes well beyond that.
Keenan Lewis left yesterday for the New Orleans Saints and who could blame him? It’s where he’s from and far be it from me to tell a guy he can’t go home. What shocked me was the contract he settled for which was far below what I believe he could have gotten.
James Harrison wouldn’t take a cut to remain a Steeler. Perhaps there was a reason and it wasn’t just financial?
I’m obviously not in the locker room or the front office on a weekly basis as other sites would have you believe they are, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know all of these moves add up to something far more than just salary cap issues.
Between coaches and players that have already left for seemingly greener pastures, it’s time to take the black ‘n gold glasses off and look at the situation a little closer. I’ll be surprised if the Pats sign him simply because they only have a handful of picks this year compared to previous years and draft picks are like gold. The bigger question is, why is Sanders interested in leaving Pittsburgh?
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.