Emmanuel Sanders October 2014

It wasn't until last Sunday versus the San Francisco 49ers that Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught his first touchdown catch from Peyton Manning of the season. He's been one of Manning's favorite targets, but never caught the TDs.

Last night on Thursday Night Football versus the San Diego Chargers that all changed, as Sanders caught three touchdown passes in a 35-21 victory.

Sanders is an emerging star after being a bit in the shadows when he was on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Signed for $18 million under three years with the Broncos, it's been a steal scoop-up for Denver this season.

The New England Patriots must be pissed, though.

According to CSNNE’s Tom Curran, Sanders almost signed with the Patriots before choosing the Broncos. In fact, if it weren't for switching agents, you would have seen him catching passes from Tom Brady instead.

“If Emmanuel hadn’t switched agents, he may have ended up (in New England without much shopping),” Steve Weinberg, Sanders’ current agent, told Curran. “Emmanuel loved it there. He said, ‘Give me Danny Amendola’s deal and I’m there.’ ”

During the 2013 offseason, the Patriots picked up Danny Amendola under five-year deal worth a little over $28 million right after Wes Welker left for Denver. They also brought back Julian Edelman, and signed Sanders to an offer sheet. However, the Steelers would match since he was a restricted free agent.

The next year, Sanders was back on the market, along with Pats wideouts Brandon LaFell and Edelman. The rumor was the Denver would sign LaFell while Sanders headed to Boston, but ended up being the other way around.

Now the Broncos are rolling with Sanders as one of their primary targets, who's likely heading for his first Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, where the hell has LaFell been?

With that said, I'm sure some Patriots fans are pissed.

“New England was competitive throughout the process,” Weinberg said. “Had they been aggressive from the beginning, it would have gotten done, but, in this market, nobody knew what to do with the wide receivers.

“New England expressed interest during the (pre-free agency) negotiation period. But the slow market made us want to go slow, too. Normally a team comes in and blows everyone away. Denver’s offer would have done that if they came with that offer right away.”

Ironically enough, the Broncos will take on the Pats next week on November 2.



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