Emmanuel Sanders Reveals Reason for Choosing Saints Over Packers

Emmanuel Sanders on Packers/Saints

Getty Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #17 of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during warmups before taking on the Seattle Seahawks during the game at CenturyLink Field on December 29, 2019 in Seattle, Washington.

Emmanuel Sanders got to choose between two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers, this offseason when weighing his options in free agency, but he didn’t snub the Packers because of any personal reasons.

The former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver just wanted nothing to do with that Green Bay cold.

Sanders discussed his decision to land with the New Orleans Saints on a two-year, $16 million deal during his guest appearance on The Rich Eisen Show on Monday afternoon, confirming the Packers had, in fact, been among the top teams in contention to sign him this offseason.

“Yeah, I don’t have a problem with Aaron Rodgers because that’s greatness as well,” Sanders said. “It’s just Green Bay, that cold weather, Rich, I wasn’t trying to do it, man. To be in a dome 12 games out of the year in a pass-heavy offense or go to Green Bay? I can’t do it. I’d rather go to New Orleans. I’m from the south. My grandma is six hours away, can come to all the games. I can have my family drive up. It’s just the perfect opportunity for me.”

Sanders also admitted financial details also help him make his decision, indicating the Packers were interested in signing him to a three-year deal — which was longer than the 33-year-old desired.

Emmanuel Sanders Chose Brees Over Aaron Rodgers Because of Weather | The Rich Eisen Show | 3/30/202020-03-30T20:30:27.000Z

Finding more receiving talent was considered one of the Packers’ top priorities this offseason after struggling to establish a consistent second option for Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. While Sanders got away, they still managed to secure former Indianapolis Colts and Carolina Panthers wideout Devin Funchess on a one-year contract to bolster the position.

Funchess, once his signing is officially announced, will join a group of Packers receivers that are vying for the No. 2 role next season. Allen Lazard is another of the top contenders after rising from the practice squad into a regular role with the offense in 2019. Other Packers receivers in play include Equanimeous St. Brown, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow, Reggie Begelton and Darrius Shepherd.

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Aaron Rodgers Reacts to Devin Funchess’ Arrival

Rodgers tends to cover a number of topics whenever he hits the airwaves for an interview or guest appearance, and Friday’s surprise jump-in on The Pat McAfee Show was no different.

Naturally, Rodgers talked about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how it has affected his life, but he also shined a light on Funchess when former Indianapolis Colts punter and host Pat McAfree asked about what offensive weapons the Packers were planning to add to his arsenal this offseason.

“Uhh, did you hear about a guy named Funchess?” Rodgers joked, via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “You have ‘fun’ and ‘chess’ in the same name. You know it’s gonna be pretty good.

“A lot of times the teams that are doing the most in free agency are doing the most because they need the most and they don’t have a lot of players. The teams that aren’t doing as much often don’t really need as much. And I think we’re one of those teams.”

Funchess gives Rodgers a big-bodied receiving target for the 2020 season that comes with some experience under his belt. He caught 63 passes for 840 yards and eight touchdowns during his last full season in 2017, but he has missed time with injuries since then, including nearly all of the 2019 season after breaking his collarbone in Week 1 for the Colts.

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