After a 1-4 start, the Denver Broncos could begin to field offers for some of their more talented players. Among these names is wideout Emmanuel Sanders.
In 132 games with the Steelers and Broncos, Sanders has 7,331 yards and 39 touchdowns. A constant threat, he has 13.1 yards per reception on his career, with his longest catch going for 75 yards. Also viable in the rushing game he has 159 rush yards on 18 attempts with two touchdowns during his nine year stint in the NFL.
There are many teams who need help at wide receiver who could be willing to pay a premium for a speedy veteran. Here, we will go through three possible teams who could convince the Broncos to part with Sanders.
New England Patriots
Aside from an injured offensive line, the Patriots’ only roster weakness is an over-the-top receiver.
Brady could benefit quickly from acquiring a player like Sanders. For Week 6, Phillip Dorsett is out, and Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon are questionable to play. The Pats are, maybe, the thinnest they have ever been at receiver.
Their excellent defense has been carrying them, and the offense has been benefitting from playing bad teams. But, that will not be the case in the playoffs. They will need a deep threat in case their defense breaks down.
Sanders would fit into the Belichick system well. After losing Antonio Brown, and Gordon not producing as expected, he could truly pick up the slack. While he would not be a bona fide number one option, he would take a lot of pressure off of Edelman and the short passing game.
The Pats are also known for not being afraid to make in-season trades. It is a well-known fact that they always seemingly find a way to underpay for pivotal pieces.
Even though the Broncos are not in the playoff hunt as of now, the Patriots are still an AFC rival. Trading him inside the AFC would need to produce a big return. Denver should only consider this trade if the offer is too good to pass up; either a second round and more, or a first rounder.
The key here: do not get fleeced, Denver.
Another team that could be in the Sanders market is the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles are struggling with injuries at the position as well. DeSean Jackson is out for Week 6, and Alshon Jeffrey is in the lineup but has been injured as recently as Week 4.
Jackson could return in Week 7, but if the Eagles secure another fast deep threat, they could let Jackson fully recover. Add on to that, Philadelphia could use them both going forward to truly become a scary offense.
This is a better trade for Denver. Sending him far away from the AFC West would be ideal. The Eagles are not hurting as badly as the Patriots are, but they do need help. In the trade market, they might want to replenish their depleted secondary rather than receiver, but it is certainly an option.
A lower-level trade package would work here for the Broncos. A second or third rounder for sending a veteran far away from Denver sounds like the right price.
The Seahawks are another interesting player in these trade talks.
After Doug Baldwin’s sudden retirement, the Seahawks are remarkably thin at wideout. Tyler Lockett is their number one receiver. Not a bad option, as Russell Wilson is very good at throwing him open, but he would be a WR2 on most other rosters. They also have a rookie in DK Metcalf who has been producing, but they need another piece.
Sanders is a great fit here, as well. The Seahawks just simply need another option. They need pressure taken off their main two targets, outside of Will Dissly. Dissly is a solid tight end, but he was primarily a blocker coming into the league and has been forced to be a big part of the offense.
He would simply open up the offense for Wilson. Not only in the passing game, but in Wilson’s excellent scrambling game as well.
The Seahawks, despite all of their holes are massively over-performing. If they want to ride this wave, they could trade for Sanders now. Denver would also be interested in trying to make Seattle overpay for him. If the brass plays this right, this could be mutually beneficial.
Featured Image courtesy of Jack Dempsey/Associated Press
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