Re: Pitt can't match...unless
posted at 4/11/2013 11:51 AM EDT
In response to RidingWithTheKingII's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
There are three possibilities on Pitt's side:
- They wanted to keep Sanders, but didn't think he was worth the $2+ million for a second-round tender
- They wanted to keep Sanders, thought he was worth more than the third-round tender, but couldn't afford to offer him more
- They really didn't want Sanders, but wanted the draft pick, so they set the tender a bit low to encourage bidders
Two of these possibilities (1 and 3) suggest Pitt won't match the Pats' offer. The middle one opens the possibility they'll try to make whatever cap moves are open to them with other players' salaries to be able to match the offer for Sanders.
Given where the Pats came in (above a second-round tender), I think they want Sanders. My guess is the Steelers take the pick and we get Sanders. Question for the Pats will be whether Sanders really is worth the loss of the third-round pick plus the 2.5 million cap hit. Given the dearth of receivers we have, I think getting him at that cost is a good move. I think he (and Jones) are both better than Salas/Branch were last year, and I suspect we still try to get a rookie higher in the draft. We started the season last year with four WRs (excluding Slater): Lloyd, Welker, Salas (later replaced by Branch), and Edelman. This season, my guess is we are more likely to start with five who might be: Rookie (outside receiver), Amendola, Sanders, Jones, and Edelman. If the rookie is a good one, that's a better-rounded, better-balanced group, I think, than last year's, which was basically Lloyd and three slots.
4. They would prefer to give him a new deal, but don't have the cap space and shot themselves in the foot.
They couldn't afford a 2nd rd tender price.
It's that simple. They were probably cringing the day FA opened.
That was my second bullet, no? They wanted him but couldn't afford him . . .
I'm not sure which of the three it is. Given their need at receiver I think they likely would have ponied up the extra $700K (assuming that's the right number) for the second round tender and tried to save the cap space elsewhere. My guess is they really wanted the draft pick, actually, and feel they can pull in another receiver with longer-term potential at a better price. They've had good luck drafting receivers in the lower rounds and maybe feel confident they can get one at least as good as Sanders this year and have him on a rookie deal.