Browns Urged to Sign Veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders Ahead of Opener

Emmanuel Sanders

Free agent WR Emmanuel Sanders.

The Cleveland Browns could use another pair of veteran hands in their wide receiver corps and Emmanuel Sanders is a name the team is being urged to pursue to fill the hole.

Sanders is a 12-year NFL veteran and has played for five teams over his career. He most recently suited up for the Buffalo Bills, where he notched 42 catches for 626 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games.

While his best years are certainly behind him, Sanders could be a nice piece for Cleveland alongside Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, rookie David Bell and Anthony Schwartz. Bleacher Report’s Jake Rill made the case for Sanders ending up in Cleveland.

“If the young receivers who the Browns are relying on to play well end up underperforming, their offense could be in some trouble, especially early on when Brissett is at quarterback. So it may be beneficial for Cleveland to add one more veteran playmaker to the mix,” Rill wrote. “Emmanuel Sanders is one of the most experienced wide receivers still on the free-agent market, and the 35-year-old could be a solid addition to the Browns’ offense.”

Browns WR Amari Cooper Doesn’t Feel Team Needs Help

Cooper landed in Cleveland this offseason via a trade from the Dallas Cowboys and is the unquestioned No. 1 receiver for the Browns. However, behind him is uncertainty, with the team relying on Peoples-Jones, Bell and drop-happy Anthony Schwartz to take on larger roles.

Cooper is not worried about the group’s depth and is just taking the situation day by day.

“Nobody on the team, even with me being the oldest guy in the room, is a finished product,” Cooper told reporters on August 31. “We are trying to get better every day. I am not even judging anybody in the room right now. I understand that we need to come out here and practice as hard as we can so that we can be ready for the games.”

As for adding another veteran to the unit, Cooper was clear he likes what the Browns have on the roster, and until proven otherwise, they should stand pat.

“I do not feel like we need help,” Cooper said. “I have not been seeing what outside people have been saying, but that is just something that we have to wait and see. Once the games start rolling around, we will see if we need help or not.”

Receivers Will Need to Step Up for QB Jacoby Brissett

Glenn Cook: "Our group did a good job of being ready for whoever was available" | Press ConferenceGlenn Cook addresses the media on September 1st, 2022. #BrownsMedia #PressConferences2022-09-01T18:47:19Z

The Browns will need their receivers to step up early and help out Jacoby Brissett as he looks to thrive in the starting role for the first 11 games of the season with Deshaun Watson suspended.

Schwartz, in particular, needs to find his rhythm after drops became the theme of his preseason. The Browns selected him in the third round of the 2021 draft, hoping the former Auburn speedster could make an impact. However, he’s struggled to catch on and had just 10 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown last season.

Having Cooper available to him as a resource is something the team is thankful for and the Browns are still confident in Schwartz’s development.

“Amari said it really well. It’s just his work,” Browns assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook said on September 1. “I think all of us hit a point, whether it’s our career, as players, where you just maybe have a few struggles, but he’s not batted an eye. He comes out every day, he puts in extra work. You see him catching a ton of balls, running routes, you’ve seen his progression.

“So I think the confidence that Amari has, who’s in the room with him every day and running routes and in the drills with him every day, we maintain the same level.”

Cleveland opens the season on the road against Carolina on September 11.

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