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NFL free agency 2014: A case for Emmanuel Sanders and the Kansas City Chiefs

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Kansas City needs another wide receiver, and Sanders could be a nice target at a reasonable price.

Jared Wickerham

It is no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs are on the lookout for a wide receiver.

Outside of Dwayne Bowe, there is nobody in the group which scares an opposing defensive coordinator. Junior Hemingway and A.J. Jenkins have promise, and Donnie Avery has speed, but all three are works in progress that may or may not be legitimate contributors in 2014.

The Chiefs do not have a ton of money to spend, so if they dip their toe in free agency it will have to be wisely. Kansas City is currently under the salary cap threshold and still needs to re-sign some of its own players along with draft picks this spring.

So, should the Chiefs make a play for a wide receiver on the open market, I believe they should give a hard look to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders has spent four years in the league, all with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and put together a very nice campaign as the second receiver behind Antonio Brown.

For a nice piece on Sanders from those who watch him closely every Sunday, check out this story on Behind the Steel Curtain.

Sanders put up the best numbers of his career with Mike Wallace gone to the Miami Dolphins, catching 67 passes for 740 yards and six touchdowns. Sanders, a former third round pick out of SMU, is only 26 years old and possesses great speed, evidenced by his kick returning ability. In 2013, Sanders amassed 628 return yards.

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 myth debunked about Alex Smith's inability to throw a nice deep ball, the addition of Sanders could be a huge boost.

Sanders also brings some of the best hands 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.

Nobody is suggesting the Chiefs should break the bank for Sanders, but a deal paying him around $3 million per year might be a nice find.