NFL free agency: Emmanuel Sanders visiting KC Chiefs

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs need receiver help and one free agent, former Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders, is visiting the Chiefs.

UPDATESanders visited KC on Friday. He now visits the 49ers on Saturday.

Ding, ding, ding! We have a name free agent possibility for the Kansas City Chiefs. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the KC Chiefs are visiting with free agent WR Emmanuel Sanders, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

VERY interesting. This is among the biggest name free agents the Chiefs have pursued (besides, perhaps, S Antoine Bethea). Sanders is a former Steelers WR who we have spent some time talking about. Receiver is obviously a position many Chiefs fans have talked about. It's a need. Sanders is someone we talked about the past few weeks.

The Chiefs have Dwayne Bowe, who isn't going anywhere this year. He was and is the Chiefs No. 1 receiver. They lost Dexter McCluster in free agency while Donnie Avery is in year two of a 3-year contract. The Chiefs are limited in their ability to improve here in free agency but the receiver position is one that's been highlighted by everyone in every mock draft.

Here's what Matt Verderame had to say about Sanders in our free agent profile series:

Nobody would be expecting Sanders to come in and take over the top receiver role. Instead, the Chiefs would be able to cut Donnie Avery and use Sanders as the No. 2 wideout who can stretch defenses. With the notion that Alex Smith can't throw a nice deep ball nothing more than a debunked myth, the addition of Sanders could be a huge boost.

Sanders also brings some of the best in the NFL. Last year, Sanders dropped a miniscule 2.7 percent of the passes thrown to him. In comparison, Hemingway dropped 5.3 percent and Avery watched 6.9 percent slip away.

This is what Behind The Steel Curtain, our Steelers blog, said about Sanders:

As far as fitting into an offense, I think Sanders is a solid outside-the-numbers receiver but he can be used on deep crosses and slants from the wide position very effectively. Just by that, I think Denver or New England could get him a lot of high percentage looks. Maybe Philadelphia as well. Kansas City could work too.

Wherever it is, a quarterback who can deliver accurate timing throws seems to be more in line with Sanders' skillset - not that a receiver does better with an inaccurate quarterback (just ask Torrey Smith how well it works), but Sanders isn't a good deep ball tracker, and has better feet than hands. He'll get open but he's not strong enough to battle in the air or technically adept enough to redirect on balls in the air away from him.

With the Chiefs current activity, or lack thereof, you wonder about the cap space. Obviously there's some hope on the Chiefs side a deal can get done if they're bringing him in for a visit.

Sanders is said to have visited the Bucs and Jaguars, leaving both cities without a deal.

Stay tuned....

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