NEW ORLEANS,La (WGNO) – The New Orleans Saints added a new weapon to the offensive arsenal this week, signing Veteran Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a 2-year, $16 million deal.
While speaking with reporters Sunday morning during a conference call, Sanders expressed his excitement in joining the Saints and playing with established talents like Quarterback Drew Brees and fellow wide-out Michael Thomas.
“I feel like I’ve got a dog like mentality and I feel like the Saints have a lot of dog type mentalities as well. I watch Drew Brees and how they execute, how he loves to win and I can tell by the way he plays. Look at Michael Thomas, he plays with so much passion. I feel like that DNA right there is capable of winning games and winning it all.”
Sanders also hopes his style of play fits the mold of the offensive gameplan.
“Again, we have to come together and do it collectively there’s going to be games where it’s going to be crunch time. When I get there I’m going to try and be the best teammate and at the same time just be me and you know hopefully it fits.”
Sanders started the 2019 season with the Denver Broncos and was traded mid-season to the San Francisco 49ers.
He had 66 receptions for 869 yards and 5 touchdowns and was a key contributor to the 49ers Super Bowl run.
The Saints struggled last season to find consistent production from a receiver other than All-Pro Michael Thomas, who caught an NFL-record 149 passes for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns.
Free agent Ted Ginn Jr., who turns 35 next month, ranked second among Saints receivers with 30 catches — behind running back Alvin Kamara (81), tight end Jared Cook (43) and running back Latavius Murray (34).
The Saints hoped to get more production from 2018 third-round draft choice Tre’Quan Smith, but he struggled with an ankle injury that sidelined him for seven full games and parts of two others, and had just 18 catches for 234 yards and five TDs.
New Orleans may well have missed out on a top-two seeding in the past NFC playoffs because of their inability to defend Sanders in a 48-46 loss to San Francisco in early December.
Sanders caught seven passes in that game for 157 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown. He also threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on a trick play. When the playoffs began a month later, New Orleans was seeded third despite being in a three-way tie with San Francisco and Green Bay for the NFC’s best record at 13-3. The Saints then lost their playoff opener to Minnesota.
Sanders entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. He helped Peyton Manning and the 2015 Denver Broncos win a Super Bowl. He was named to the Pro Bowl with Denver in the 2014 and 2016 seasons. The Broncos traded Sanders to San Francisco before last season.
He now joins New Orleans with 601 career catches for 7,893 yards and 42 touchdowns.