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Emmanuel Sanders was everything the Saints could hope for in 2021

The Saints had a #2 wide receiver for the first time since Brandin Cooks.

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints added some much-needed help at the wide receiver position when they signed Emmanuel Sanders to a two-year deal worth $16 million in March of 2020.

The former Pittsburgh Steeler and Denver Bronco was traded mid season to the San Francisco 49ers in 2019, helping them claim the division title and reach the Super Bowl against Kansas City.

But Denver was where Sanders truly shined, racking up 418 catches for 5,361 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns on his way to two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl victory in 2015.

Sanders caught 61 passes for 726 yards and five touchdowns in 2020. His best game of the season came in their Week 5 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers. Sanders hauled in 12 of his 14 targets for 122 yards.

Sanders brought championship experience to a team trying to get over the playoff hump the last few seasons. The veteran stepped up when New Orleans needed him most after star Michael Thomas missed nine games in the regular season due to injury.

NFL: DEC 13 Saints at Eagles Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although the Saints fell short of expectations, the post-Drew Brees era looks bright. New Orleans already has a more than capable receiving corps to complement whichever quarterback will take the helm next season barring any trades.

While no one could ever replace Brees, having Thomas, Sanders and running back Alvin Kamara can help keep offensive drives alive and allow Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston put up big numbers in 2021.

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