After Mike Wallace left for big money, another wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders took the first step in leaving as well, signing an offer sheet with the New England Patriots, reports Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post -Gazette.
Sander is a restricted free agent, and the Steelers can keep him around if they choose to match the Pats' offer. If they don't, they'll get a 2013 3rd round draft picks from the Patriots.
Sanders received a $1,323,000 tender from the Steelers, and we're not sure ta this time what the Patriots are offering him. Things are uncharacteristically fast for New England in free agency; They let Wes Welker walk, signed WRs Danny Amendola and Donald Jones, safety Adrian Wilson, RB Leon Washington and now possibly Sanders.
So with that, the Steelers are on the clock. They have one week to match the offer. New England is in great shape salary-cap wise, so it's imaginable that whatever they're offering might be completely out of reach for the Steelers.
Sanders caught 44 passes for 626 yards in 2012, and like Leon Washington, is a return man that can ease the transition from the departed Welker.