I’ve had some good discussions as I’m sure many of you have about Emmanuel Sanders signing the offer sheet from the New England Patriots and whether or not the Steelers should match. I’ve also seen some comments that were rather derogatory towards Sanders regarding him “going after the money.”
Let me get this straight. None of you would take a significant increase in pay and an opportunity to work with another future hall of fame quarterback and future hall of fame coach? Don’t give me the loyalty crap either because loyalty is gone in professional sports.
I don’t begrudge Sanders one bit for signing the offer sheet.
Look at the two situations he is facing from an offensive perspective. In Pittsburgh, it is becoming more and more clear that Todd Haley was brought in to re-establish the running game. This means less opportunities for receivers which means less of an opportunity for Sanders to have a big year heading into unrestricted free agency in 2014.
His other option is to go to New England where he will play in a pass-first offense which will clearly get him more opportunities to increase his overall value when free agency comes around. Should he stay with Pittsburgh or go to New England I’ll be very curious if he signs a long-term extension perhaps thinking he could get more on the open market next spring.
Regardless of where he ends up we have no business ripping a player for choosing money and opportunity over what? Stability maybe? The career of professional football is a short one and without guaranteed contracts, I have no problem with players seeking out greater financial reward.
That doesn’t mean I like it, but there is nothing we or they for that matter can do about it.
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.