The New England Patriots weren't the only ones to offer Emmanuel Sanders a contract in free agency, and the Steelers might not be able to keep the wide receiver beyond the 2013 season.
"We had several teams make offers in free agency so we know there are teams who really like Emmanuel," Jordan Woy, Sanders' agent, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today.
Sanders signed a one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent from the Patriots that the Steelers matched on Sunday. Had they not matched, they would have received New England's third-round draft choice in return.
Unless the Steelers sign Sanders to a long-term contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent next March, free to sign elsewhere with no compensation going back to the Steelers.
While Woy said "we are open to discussing" a multi-year contract, he added that, "We are also open to him playing the year out.
"It would have to be a very good deal for us to sign a multi-year agreement," Woy said.
Last year, Mike Wallace turned down every Steelers offer as a restricted free agent, played out the season and then signed a five-year, $60 million contract last month as an unrestricted free agent with Miami. When it became obvious the Steelers could not sign him, they turned to fellow receiver Antonio Brown and signed him to a six-year, $43 million contract in the early days of training camp in August.
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @EdBouchette. First Published April 15, 2013 4:15 AM