Veteran WR’s Job Could Be on the Line in Training Camp: Report

Getty Patriotd Edelman and Sanu

Mohamed Sanu had offseason ankle surgery to repair an injury that hampered him during the 2019 season. The New England Patriots‘ soon-to-be 31-year-old veteran has seemingly done everything you would expect to rehab the injury, and based on what can be seen in his Instagram workout videos, he appears to be in monstrous shape and ready for the season to begin.

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Take a look at some of the work he’s been doing in the offseason.

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Me today > me yesterday #BeanTalk

A post shared by Mohamed Sanu Sr. (@mohamedsanu) on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:24pm PDT

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Strolling through the park.

A post shared by Mohamed Sanu Sr. (@mohamedsanu) on Jun 18, 2020 at 12:23pm PDT

It’s good to see the veteran still hungry.

The pressure could be on Sanu to deliver in a major way. He was a disappointment after the Patriots acquired him in a midseason trade with the Atlanta Falcons last season. With the team in salary cap trouble, he could be a cap casualty if he fails to impress once workouts begin.
WEEI’s Ryan Hannable says:

Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is a massive wild card for the upcoming season. If he’s healthy and connects with Stidham, he could be a valuable piece to the offense, especially with Julian Edelman getting a great deal of attention from opposing defenses. But, it could also go the other way where if he struggles in training camp, it wouldn’t be a complete shock to see him released given his $6.5 million cap hit.

As of now, no team in the NFL has fewer cap space to operate, and the Patriots still have to find a way to pay their practice squad players. New England is currently rolling with just over $650,000 of available cap room.

One option the team has is to get offensive lineman Joe Thuney to agree to an extension. That would provide cap relief, but it doesn’t really behoove Thuney to do that considering he’s already been franchise tagged. That means he’ll make just under $15 million for the 2020 season.

An extension would give him another season but at likely a little less annually. The next best thing for the Patriots–at least from a pure money standpoint–might be to cut Sanu. However, he does have some value for the young receivers on the roster. Sanu took N’Keal Harry under his wing and helped him prepare his own offseason program. If Sanu shows some of the forms he flashed in Atlanta and produces, he should be a safe bet to make the roster.

If he struggles in what is already a very strange season, the Patriots’ wide receivers could get even more inexperienced. That’s not the best look for a team set to hand the keys over to a second-year QB who has only thrown four passes in his career.

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