The Denver Broncos are now expected to trade Emmanuel Sanders before the trade deadline.
As the NFL trade deadline nears on Oct. 29, the Broncos are expected to trade their two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver after general manager John Elway had previously stated that was no one was on the trade block.
Via a report from local Denver media outlet 9 News.
“Broncos general manager John Elway is expected to trade star receiver Emmanuel Sanders by the NFL trading deadline next Tuesday, sources told 9NEWS.
9NEWS reported about the possibility of Sanders and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. going on the trading block – with Sanders the more likely of the two – Thursday night following the Broncos’ embarrassing 30-6 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Broncos Change Their Tune Regarding Trades
The turn of events isn’t exactly shocking. Although Elway had previously stated that no one on the Broncos’ roster was on the trade block, he had made that statement prior to the team’s Week 6 game against the Tennessee Titans.
“You guys bring all those names up. I have not brought any names up,” Elway said on Oct. 11 via the Associated Press. “We’re trying to win football games,” Elway said. “So, no one from our side is on the trading block. We’re going to try to continue to win football games.”
In other words, that was before the team’s humiliating 30-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 7, where the Chiefs were led by career backup Matt Moore.
ESPN had reported over the weekend that the Broncos were fielding calls for Sanders — the first step in actually trading the 32-year-old veteran. In fact, a couple of the teams that were listed as potential suitors for Sanders are the top teams in the NFL — the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers.
“As losses pile up in Denver, the Broncos are likely to be open to listening to offers for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, sources told ESPN.
There are enough teams expected to be in the wide receiver market in the days leading up to the Oct. 29 trade deadline — including the Panthers, Patriots, Eagles, 49ers and others — and Sanders could be on the block.”
Broncos Also Traded Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Last Season
If this situation looks familiar, it would be because it is. As the Broncos have slowly regressed from Super Bowl champions to one of the worst teams in the NFL in a matter of a few years, they’ve jettisoned many of the key holdovers from that 2015 team.
As the Broncos struggled through their third consecutive non-playoff season in 2018, they traded longtime wideout Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans in the middle of the season. With the Broncos currently at 2-5 and Sanders entering the last year of his deal, there’s no reason to keep him around.
Sanders has been decent this season as the team’s starting receiver, posting 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns. However, it’s become abundantly clear that second-year receiver Courtland Sutton is the focal point of the offense. Sutton has posted 36 receptions for 564 yards and three touchdowns on 54 targets — all four of those categories are better than Sanders’ numbers.
With the season lost, the Broncos will likely look for some type of draft pick in exchange for the veteran receiver. They were able to acquire a fourth and seventh-round draft pick for Thomas last season.