Former 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders to sign with New Orleans Saints

Saints, Emmanuel Sanders, 49ers
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints have been mostly quiet during the start of NFL Free Agency. That will soon change as former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders intends to sign with them, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

The deal Sanders is reportedly signing is for two-years worth $16 million with potential for more, per NFL Network’s James Palmer. The final details should be reported in the near future. The only step remaining before it becomes an official signing is for him to take a physical with the Saints.

There was speculation regarding whether Sanders would choose to re-sign with the 49ers in the offseason. He was patient throughout the free agency process in order to find the best fit as opposed to trying to simply sign the biggest deal he could get.

“The hardest thing about free agency is sometimes you want it right away but you have to wait and see see what happens,” Sanders told Cam Inman of The Mercury News. “I’m trying not to rush the process, because I know what I want out of a team and I know what my goals are. I’m trying to find the best fit.” 

There was a clear need for the Saints to add more receiving talent alongside Michael Thomas. The All-Pro receiver had to shoulder way too much of the team’s responsibility last season allowing for their offensive attack to get solved in the playoffs.

The 2020 NFL Draft is considered as having a potentially historic receivers class and while selecting one still makes sense for the Saints, they now don’t need to feel like they have to reach for one. They can adopt a more ‘best player available’ approach regardless of position.

With Drew Brees heading into what is likely the final season of his NFL career, it’s important to have a veteran receiver like Sanders. The Saints need dependability in their supporting cast to make possibly one last run before the best quarterback in their history retires.

Emmanuel Sanders is coming off a season with 66 receptions, 869 receiving yards, and five receiving touchdowns. He was traded mid-season after appearing in seven games for the Denver Broncos and was the only player in the NFL to play in 17 regular season outings.