Steelers '50-50' on matching Emmanuel Sanders' offer sheet, per report

Jason Miller

The Steelers can retain the young wide receiver, but it will cost them more than they planned.

Pittsburgh Steelers restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders signed an offer sheet with New England this week worth $2.5 million. The Steelers organization is torn about matching the deal and retaining him, or letting him walk and accepting the Patriots' third-round draft pick as compensation, according to ESPN's John Clayton.

Sanders is coming off the best season of his career; the three-year veteran caught 44 passes for 626 yards and a touchdown in 2012. He started seven games for Pittsburgh and appeared in all 16 regular-season contests, both of which were career highs. Over the course of his professional career, he has racked up 1,290 receiving yards.

The offer sheet from New England is for just one year, though it could lead to a long-term agreement with the Patriots should the Steelers decide to move on without him. Pittsburgh had given Sanders an original-round tender worth about $1.3 million prior to the offer sheet he received from New England.

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