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Broncos sign Emmanuel Sanders to 3-year extension

Sanders has emerged as a focal point of Denver's offense over the last two seasons.

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Sanders has been a bargain for the Denver Broncos over the last two years. But now that's about to change.

Broncos general manager John Elway announced Wednesday the team has signed Sanders to a three-year extension. Terms weren't immediately disclosed, though James Palmer of NFL Network reported the contract was worth $33 million.

Sanders, 29, quickly emerged as one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets during his first season with the Broncos. The veteran wideout finished second on the team with 101 receptions -- a career high -- and gained 1,404 yards to go along with nine touchdown grabs. Last year, Sanders caught 76 passes for 1,135 yards and six touchdowns.

A stroke of luck played a role in the Broncos' original courtship of Sanders. He signed an offer sheet with the New England Patriots in 2013, but the Pittsburgh Steelers eventually matched the deal. The Patriots went on to ink Danny Amendola to a multi-year deal in free agency later that spring and Sanders played another season in Pittsburgh before reaching the free agent market again.

With the Broncos' quarterback situation currently influx -- 2015 seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian is slated to be the team's starter in Week 1 -- it's important for them to keep their receiving corps intact. Demaryius Thomas is signed through 2019, meaning he should continue to work side-by-side with Sanders for the next several seasons.