2013 Salary Cap

Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders Says Contract Extension Talks Are Going On Right Now

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had an eventful off-season that included him signing an one-year restricted offer sheet with the New England Patriots. The Steelers of course matched that offer right before the deadline and now that he is under contract for the 2013 season, Sanders was asked Wednesday on 93.7 The Fan if there has been any talk about an extension.

“Of course, and those conversations are going on right now,” Sanders said.

Despite admitting that he has had extension talks with the Steelers, Sanders wanted to make it clear that those talks are not the main thing on his mind right now.

“You guys keep talking about the contract,” Sanders said. “You guys won’t let the contract go, but you know, at the end of the day, I’m telling you that I’m honest when I say I’m not worried about a contract. The contracts will come.”

As I pointed out in a post right after the Steelers decided to match the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet that Sanders signed with the Patriots, those terms can\’t be changed, so that means an extension would only make his 2013 cap hit go higher.

Sanders\’ agent Jordan Woy said in mid April that his client is looking for a “very good deal,” and that their side is willing to play out the one year contract so that Sanders can become an unrestricted free agent next off-season.

Once Woy said what he did, I theorized that Steelers could possibly extend Sanders three more years prior to the start of the 2013 season with the total of the four year deal coming in at $26 million. That deal would guarantee Sanders $12 million in total through 2014, which would essentially mean that he would be getting $9.5 million in new money over the $2.5 million he is scheduled to earn in 2013.

Should the outline of my example deal be used, Sanders cap hit in 2013 would only increase by one million to $3.5 million in 2013 and his 2014 cap hit would only be $5.17 million after turning a $2 million roster bonus that he would be due next year into a signing bonus next March. You can read the full details of that example deal right here.

It\’s good to hear that there has already been discussion and I suspect that those talks will continue on for the rest of the summer. Thanks to release of guard Willie Colon earlier in the off-season, the Steelers will have an additional $5.5 million of cap space to work with come June 2nd, so that is the soonest that an extension with Sanders can get done.

The extension given to nose tackle Steve McLendon several weeks ago was done out of necessity, as the Steelers normally like to get extensions done a few weeks into training camp. If they are to eventually get one done with Sanders, that\’s when I would expect it to be completed.

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