NFL rumors swirled around Mohamed Sanu when it became clear that he wanted to leave the Cincinnati Bengals in search of a team that would give him a much bigger role. Versatile and talented, Sanu found his production dipping with the Bengals, so he knew that it would be best for his career to play elsewhere. According to ESPN, Mohamed is set to sign a $32.5 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons, a team that needs a second wide receiver.
For years, the Atlanta Falcons had an enviable wide receiver tandem in Julio Jones and Roddy White. Matt Ryan was the envy of a lot of NFL quarterbacks because he had reliable catchers on both sides of the field. Friction with Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan led to the departure of White from the franchise. Roddy had been with Atlanta for a decade, so his departure definitely leaves a void on the offense.
Julio Jones is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. In 2015, he pulled down 136 catches for 1,871 yards. Jones also scored eight touchdowns. When you can get that type of production from your number one wide receiver, then the rest of the supporting cast doesn’t have to do as much. Mohamed Sanu doesn’t have to put up those gaudy numbers. He simply needs to complement Julio and provide Matt Ryan with another option.
Fortunately for the Atlanta Falcons, Mohamed Sanu can provide plenty of options. His versatility is remarkable. Sanu can line up on the outside and take corner backs down the field. The former Rutgers Scarlet Knights star can also line up in the slot, where he’s not afraid to go across the middle of the field. In addition to being a wide receiver, Mohamed can also line up in the Wildcat formation, as he’s a pretty good runner and surprisingly solid passer.
Not a lot of people are aware of this, but Mohamed Sanu has a perfect passer rating. Out of the five passes that he has thrown, two of them have been for touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was actually to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Former Bengals offensive coordinator, and now Cleveland Browns head coach, Hue Jackson loves versatility, and he utilized Sanu in as many different ways as he could.
The contract between Mohamed Sanu and the Atlanta Falcons seems beneficial to both sides. Through the first two seasons, $14 million of the $32.5 million is guaranteed. Sanu received a $7 million signing bonus. For the upcoming season, Mohamed is only on the books for $1 million, which will enable the Falcons to spend on additional needs. There’s also $1.25 million in incentives during the final three years of the deal.
For the Cincinnati Bengals, this is actually a big loss. Though his production declined last season, Mohamed Sanu was still viewed as a weapon on offense. The departure is made even bigger because Marvin Jones left the Bengals to sign a $40 million contract with the Detroit Lions. Jones will be tasked with trying to replace some of the production lost by the retirement of Calvin Johnson, one of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL.
Free agency in the NFL was designed to enable players to find the best situation for them. While he enjoyed his time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Mohamed Sanu felt it would be best for his career if he could find a team that would showcase him more. He feels that he’s talented enough to be an impact player. Fortunately for Sanu, the Atlanta Falcons had a need at wide receiver, so they’re giving him the chance that he wants.
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