The Broncos have exercised their contract option on Sanders (Achilles), guaranteeing $1.5 million of his $10.15 million base salary for 2019, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports. General manager John Elway announced the decision a couple weeks ago, apparently encouraged by Sanders' initial progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles. The veteran wideout relayed optimism Sunday on his Twitter account, noting that trainers have told him he's far ahead of schedule. Sanders suffered the injury during practice Dec. 5 and will celebrate his 32nd birthday this upcoming weekend. The Broncos clearly expect Sanders to operate as a primary target for new starting quarterback Joe Flacco, though the wideout's age and the timing of his injury do create some level of concern.
Sanders relayed via his personal Twitter account Sunday that trainers have told him he's "wayyy (sic) ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a torn Achilles. Sanders suffered the devastating injury during practice Dec. 5. Despite missing the final four games of the campaign, he paced the Broncos in every receiving category, with 71 catches (on 98 targets) for 868 yards and four touchdowns to his credit. Sanders is due a roster bonus of $1.5 million Tuesday, so his immediate future will receive some clarity in the coming days. Once the Broncos' front office makes that decision, he'll continue to focus on his rehab with the stated aim of being ready for the 2019 regular-season opener, when he'd be working with new quarterback Joe Flacco.
General manager John Elway confirmed the Broncos will exercise Sanders' (Achilles) contract option for 2019, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. The team seems confident in Sanders' ability to bounce back from the Achilles tear he suffered in early December, with his fast progress early in the recovery process creating hope he can be ready for Week 1 of his age-32 season. Between this decision and the recent agreement to trade for Joe Flacco, it's clear the Broncos are shooting for a 2019 playoff appearance rather than focusing on the future. Elway likely envisions Sanders, Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton operating as the receivers in three-wideout sets under new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello. Despite the Broncos' optimism about his health, Sanders is no lock at this point to be ready for the start of training camp, or Week 1 for that matter.
The Broncos haven't asked Sanders (Achilles) to take a pay cut and are expected to keep him under contract for 2019, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports. Sanders carries a $10.15 million base salary for the final season of his three-year contract, with $1.5 million becoming guaranteed at some point this offseason. It's a big expense for a player who will be nine months removed from an Achilles tear at the start of his age-32 season, but the Broncos apparently are confident Sanders can be a top target for new quarterback Joe Flacco. The veteran wide receiver seems to be making good progress in the early stages of his recovery and no longer requires a walking boot on his injured foot.
Sanders (Achilles) posted Tuesday on his personal Twitter account that he isn't interested in restructuring his contract ahead of the 2019 season. Coming off a torn Achilles suffered Dec. 5 and entering the final season of his three-year deal, Sanders surely can read between the lines that any restructure would involve a significant pay cut. Of course, he may be putting himself in danger of an outright release, as the Broncos can't be thrilled about the prospect of paying a $10.15 million base salary (per OverTheCap.com) to a player who's no lock to be ready for Week 1 of his age-32 season. His release wouldn't be a popular move in the locker room, but it makes sense from a standpoint of expected production per dollar. A contract extension might work for both parties, especially if it includes a signing bonus that can significantly reduce Sanders' 2019 cap hit without reducing his actual compensation. The veteran wide receiver is no longer wearing a walking boot over his injured foot, but he was spotted moving around with a limp as recently as last week.
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