The San Francisco 49ers are jumping to the front of the pack of teams looking to land wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders ahead of the NFL trade deadline, a new report suggests.
Amid a 6-0 start, the 49ers are reportedly looking to add another weapon to an offense that is humming through the first seven weeks of the NFL season. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said that the 49ers are “aggressively pursuing” a wide receiver, and may have just lost their biggest competition for Sanders. On Tuesday, the New England Patriots completed a trade for Atlanta Falcons receiver Mohamed Sanu, which would seem to take them out of the sweepstakes to land Sanders.
“I expect the 49ers to end up with Emmanuel Sanders in the next week,” La Canfora tweeted. “Were very much in on Sanu. Really want to add a pass catcher.”
The Denver Broncos are ready to transition into a rebuilding phase and are now open to offers on the wide receiver, a reports from ESPN says. The report noted that interest in Sanders is expected to be high.
“There are enough teams expected to be in the wide receiver market in the days leading up to the Oct. 29 trade deadline — including the Panthers, Patriots, Eagles, 49ers and others — and Sanders could be on the block,” the report noted.
Sanders, who recovered from a torn left Achilles, has provided 30 catches for 367 yards — and two touchdowns — in support of an inconsistent Broncos offense this year. Now fully healthy, Sanders is expected to fetch a high price for a Broncos team that could look to stockpile draft picks ahead of an expected rebuild.
It’s not clear exactly what the Broncos may be asking for in return for Sanders, but the Patriots spent a second-round pick to land Sanu, who is often considered to be a less prestigious pick than Sanders. The Broncos could be seeking a first-round pick, or a package of multiple picks, given the competitive market.
The Patriots trade for Sanu may have actually accelerated the market for Sanders, a report from Sports Illustrated noted. But the report also suggested that Denver’s fast-sinking season could soon make it harder for the 49ers to land Sanders. The same report noted that if the Broncos were to lose to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday — falling further away from playoff contention — it could also open up the possibility of trading him within the conference. This could blunt the advantage for the 49ers, and motivate the team to make a pitch before this week’s game.