It was no secret the New Orleans Saints needed help at wide receiver. Aside from Michael Thomas, the Saints were lacking at the position with only names like Tre’Quan Smith and Keith Kirkwood to strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenses.
Well not any longer.
After reports of being interested in Emmanuel Sanders at last year’s trade deadline before the Denver Broncos eventually shipped Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers, the Saints have brought him in via free agency.
Emmanuel Sanders just told me he intends to go to the #Saints.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 21, 2020
WR Emmanuel Sanders just text it's a 2 year deal to New Orleans. https://t.co/UEGqLNujQh— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 21, 2020
Former 49ers’ WR Emmanuel Sanders reached agreement on a two-year, $16 milloon deal with worth up to $19 million the New Orleans Saints, per source. https://t.co/01akLF17C3— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 21, 2020
Specific cap hits for 2020 and 2021 are not known at this time, but all we know for sure is that the Saints have a legitimate WR2 for the first time since Brandin Cooks was with the Black and Gold.
Sanders’s presence can only help the numbers of Michael Thomas, Jared Cook, and Alvin Kamara, as opposing defenses will no longer be able to focus solely on a trio of offensive pass-catchers.
Hopefully this will be a thing Sanders can do for New Orleans instead of against them:
49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders' 75-yard TD vs. Saints in December: pic.twitter.com/4DxDvR1Qgh— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) March 18, 2020
Look out NFC South - the Saints are getting better too.
Check back for contract details once known.
The details of Emmanuel Sanders’ contract with the Saints have been released.
Bookkeeping on Emmanuel Sanders’ deal with the #Saints: $8m fully guaranteed this year, $8m in non-guaranteed money in 2021. Reception incentives of up to $1.5m in each of the next two seasons. There’s also a third year that automatically voids. Cap number this year: $4m.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 8, 2020
Of the $8 million that is guaranteed, $6 million comes in the form of a signing bonus. This means that Sanders carries only a $2 million base salary this year and a $4 million cap hit.
The Saints pull off another team-friendly deal and locks a player that will play a key role in 2020 in for a potential second season. Clearly, New Orleans intends to maintain Sanders for the second non-guaranteed year if all goes well, evident by the additional reception incentives in 2021.
There is a 2022 season on Sanders’ deal. It voids on last day of the 2021 league year— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) April 8, 2020
The 2022 year on his contract voids on the last day of the 2021 season, per Underhill. Just another example of the Saints front office’s masterful handling of the salary cap.