Emmanuel Sanders says Steelers GM asked him, 'Who do you think you are, Antonio Brown?' when offering deal in 2014

Emmanuel Sanders began his career as a third-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in 2010. For the first couple seasons of his career, he was a sup-package player, catching 50 passes for 664 yards and four touchdowns. He broke out over the final two years of his rookie deal, posting lines of 44-626-1 and 67-740-6 going into free agency. 

It was then, Sanders says, that the Steelers offered him a deal that showed they did not think much of him. 

"The Steelers offered me a crappy deal. They offered me three years, $9 million, $1 million guaranteed," Sanders said, during an appearance on 104.3 The Fan. "I'll never forget when they offered me the deal, I declined the deal, I went into Kevin Colbert's office and said, 'I don't want to take the deal.' He looks at me and he goes, 'Who do you think you are, Antonio Brown?' I wanted to say, 'F-you.' I'll never forget that."

Sanders has gone on to average 75 catches for 999 yards and five touchdowns across his five seasons with the Denver Broncos, with whom he signed a three-year, $15 million contract in 2014 and then a three-year, $33 million extension in 2016. He's headed into the final season of that deal, under which he'll collect a $10.25 million base salary for his upcoming age-32 season. 

He suffered a torn Achilles late in the 2018 season and sat out the last few games, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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