Saints: Emmanuel Sanders time in NOLA should come to an end this offseason

Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Sanders, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

One of the newest New Orleans Saints player might just be one of the first on the chopping block to get the team below the salary cap for the 2021 season.

Emmanuel Sanders joined New Orleans during last year’s offseason. The Saints needed a wide receiver so they went out and signed one of the best that was on the market. Not to mention, Sanders was coming off of a pretty good season in San Francisco.

Emmanuel Sanders did not have an off-year. In 2019, he grabbed 66 receptions for 869 yards and five touchdowns. During that season, Sanders did spend seven games in Denver with the Broncos and ten games in San Francisco with the 49ers.

Last year for the Saints, Sanders hauled in 61 receptions for 726 yards and five touchdowns. However, there is a couple of things that bring me to the decision that the team should release Emmanuel Sanders before the offseason.

First is the other players around him.

He did what he did as the Saints’ No. 1 receiver. Michael Thomas missed over half the season leaving Sanders with the leadership responsibilities. He didn’t disappoint, but he didn’t impress either.

Secondly, the main reason they signed him is that Tre’Quan Smith wasn’t playing as well as they thought he would. Smith came out this year and caught 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns. Deonte Harris also stepped up in a big way towards the end of the season.

Lastly, Sanders has a cut-friendly contract. Currently, he is set to make $10.5 million next season. If they were to release Sanders before June 1, 2021, they would only incur a  $4 million dead cap hit.

That would effectively free up $6.5 million to get them under the cap next season.

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When you put all three of these together, Sanders has to leave. It is not a decision that anyone wants to be made, but it will end up being the best for the team. He will not be the only one on the chopping block for the Saints this offseason.