Business is business. For the San Francisco 49ers, you probably can’t a person in the building that wants to move on from Emmanuel Sanders. From the players to the coaches, Sanders is loved in the building. When you factor in the impact Sanders had and will continue to have, it makes the 49ers free agency decision impossible. Money is tight, and while the team can free up some cap space to bring Sanders back, that may affect the decision to bring back other unrestricted free agents.
According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, Sanders wants to be back with San Francisco:
3) Emmanuel Sanders/San Francisco 49ers: Sanders wants to stay with the Niners, and San Francisco wants him back. If the contract is not too exorbitant, it’s very likely Sanders ends up back with the Niners.
You may not be familiar with Pauline, but he’s plugged in and has been around for several years. If I didn’t feel like he was trustworthy, I wouldn’t share this. We haven’t heard anything like this, so it’s refreshing knowing that Sanders wants to be back if Pauline is correct.
Sanders has earned $53 million in his career. Other teams like the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, and the Indianapolis Colts, and all the other teams that can offer Sanders more money don’t have what the 49ers do: a winning pedigree. When the 49ers traded for Sanders, he said he has about two to three years left in the NFL. Knowing this is his “last shot” at winning it all, why in the world would he sign with a team that isn’t going to contend for a title? Not all players are in it for the money. Sanders has never given off that vibe.
I’ve long felt that Sanders would wind up playing for another team in 2020 because of money. This report contradicts that, and I couldn’t be any happier. Now we ask, what qualifies as “not too exorbitant?” If the team can sign Sanders for under $10 million a season and he’s willing to accept that deal, that’s the steal of free agency. We’ll find out soon enough. It’s going to be challenging to replace Sander’s locker room presence and leadership. One way to ensure you don’t have to do that? Re-sign him.