Emmanuel Sanders excited to land with 'pass-happy' Saints in 2020 NFL free agency: 'It means everything'
The thought of catching passes from Drew Brees has Sanders smiling ear-to-ear
Emmanuel Sanders had options when deciding where he'd play football in 2020. The veteran wide receiver was only one quarter away from landing his second Super Bowl ring when Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs mounted a fourth-quarter rally to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, but Sanders is now in position to potentially get another shot a second Lombardi hoist. He signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints in this year's NFL free agency spree -- a deal that could pay him upwards of $19 million and unites him with future first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees and offensive guru Sean Payton.
"I'm excited to be there in a pass-happy offense," Sanders said, via NFL.com. "That means everything. These are the types of offenses where you really can showcase your talent. I've waited almost four years, ever since 2014 with Peyton [Manning], to be back in a pass-happy offense."
The 33-year-old has certainly seen more than his fair share of QB turnover, and most of it has been less than average before landing with a capable 49ers team that featured a more-than-capable signal caller in Jimmy Garappolo. Still, no one will ever confuse a still-learning Garappolo with the record-setting arm and IQ of Brees. And after playing with another future Hall of Famer in Peyton Manning as a Denver Bronco, Sanders saw himself attempting to catch passes from Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch and the 2019 version of Joe Flacco.
Looking at that list, you'll have to forgive his excitement when imagining how different things will be when he suits up for Brees and Payton in New Orleans.
"I think the ultimate thing that me and Drew have in common is that we both love the game of football," Sanders said. "If you take guys that love the grind of football and who are passionate about football, it should click regardless if they have the proper talent. I know Drew loves football and I know I love football. I just feel like that chemistry is going to be there from the jump because we are both down to work our butts off because we both know what we're trying to accomplish and that's [winning a] Super Bowl ring."
The two-time Pro Bowler logged three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with the Broncos but hasn't achieved that feat since 2016, yet finds himself now the definitive complement to Michael Thomas, a three-time Pro Bowler who is one of the best in the sport. in the aforementioned 2016 campaign, Sanders and Demaryius Thomas both delivered 1,000-yard seasons for the Broncos, which was also the last season the Saints saw two separate receivers achieve that feat in New Orleans -- namely Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas -- but they might find themselves enjoying that luxury again in 2020.
That's the plan, and Sanders can't wait to get started.
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