Ben Roethlisberger wants Steelers to match Patriots' offer to Emmanuel Sanders, per report

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Pittsburgh QB is lobbying the Steelers to match the offer sheet Sanders signed with the New England Patriots.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is a fan of wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. On Saturday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Roethlisberger has been "lobbying" Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin for the team to match Sanders' offer sheet from the New England Patriots.

The Patriots signed Sanders to a relatively modest one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet. If the Steelers do not match the offer, then the Patriots will send over their third-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft as compensation.

As noted in another Tweet from Schefter, the Steelers have until 11:59:59 ET on Sunday night to match the offer sheet. If the Steelers don't comply by midnight, Sanders will officially be a member of the Patriots.

Sanders has been a productive target for Roethlisberger, though he's always been a bit under the radar. He played in 16 games last season, and caught 44 passes for 626 yards and a touchdown. The yardage and reception totals were both career highs, and given that he's entering just his fourth year in the NFL, he could be on the verge of stepping up in a big way.

Roethlisberger had a down season in 2012, and it stands to reason he wants to ensure he has all the weapons available, especially after Mike Wallace departed for the Miami Dolphins in free agency.

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