The Saints and Sanders agreed to a two-year contract Friday, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports. Sanders has fallen off since his three-year peak (2014-2016), when he accrued 1,000 receiving yards each time while hauling in 256 passes overall. Last season, he split time with Denver and San Francisco, reaching the Super Bowl with the latter and combining for a 66-869-5 line on 97 targets. On a positive note, Sanders will be operating with Drew Brees and opposite Michael Thomas, so the 33-year-old does have a relatively safe floor.
Sanders, an impending free agent, hasn't discussed a new contract with the 49ers, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Sanders mentioned after the Super Bowl that he enjoyed playing for the 49ers, but he wasn't ready to speculate on his future at that time. The lack of negotiations so far isn't necessarily a deal breaker, considering most teams have taken a slow approach to player contracts while the owners and NFLPA work on a new collective bargaining agreement. Sanders will turn 33 next Tuesday, one day before he's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. He refuted a recent rumor that suggested the 49ers had sent him a lowball offer, but it does seem likely that he'll end up testing the open market.
Sanders hasn't yet turned his focus to free agency, but he did mention that he enjoyed the 2019 season and loves playing for the 49ers, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports. Acquired in an October trade with Denver, the soon-to-be 33-year-old wideout had a couple huge performances in games the 49ers won by a small margin -- Week 9 at Arizona and Week 14 at New Orleans. While his presence may have been the difference between a No. 3 seed and the No. 1 seed, Sanders otherwise served in a complementary capacity, often playing third fiddle in the passing game behind George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. The 49ers likely will have some level of interest in bringing Sanders back, but it won't come as any surprise if he gets a better offer from another team. The Niners don't have a ton of cap space, and they have two other starters -- DE Arik Armstead and S Jimmie Ward -- scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this offseason.
Sanders caught three of five targets for 38 yards in the 31-20 Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. Sanders nearly made the biggest play of the game when he ran past a pair of defenders on third-and-10 with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo overthrew the veteran wideout and then took a sack on the next play, giving the ball back to Kansas City for a game-clinching, 38-yard touchdown from Damien Williams. It was otherwise a quiet night for Sanders, who drew fewer targets than both Deebo Samuel (nine) and George Kittle (seven). Sanders can become an unrestricted free agent at the beginning of the 2020 league year March 18, one day after his 33rd birthday.
Sanders had three catches (four targets) for 25 yards in Sunday's 26-21 win over Seattle. Sanders had a quiet cap to the 2019 regular season, finishing with 25 receiving yards or less for the fifth time in 10 starts with his new squad. The veteran's receptions had a much larger impact on the actual team, as he quickly became a third-down security blanket for Jimmy Garoppolo. Sanders finishes with 66 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns across 17 games between Denver and San Francisco. The 32-year-old is set to hit unrestricted free agency this upcoming offseason, and his eventual landing spot will help determine what kind of fantasy value we can expect from the wideout in 2020. For now, Sanders will look to help his current club on a quest for an appearance in the Super Bowl.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||32||27.63|
|2||09/22||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
|3||09/28||Green Bay Packers||12||19.22|
|5||10/13||Los Angeles Chargers||3||16.13|
|9||11/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||32||27.63|
|10||11/15||San Francisco 49ers||11||18.68|
|15||12/20||Kansas City Chiefs||4||16.68|
|3 Year Avg||97||61||764||4||36||12.52||107|