According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots are hosting a visit from Steelers restricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Friday. This report comes on the same day that New England already reached a deal with former Bills receiver Donald Jones.
As a restricted free agent, New England could sign Sanders to an offer sheet that Pittsburgh would then have a chance to match. If they don't, the Steelers would receive a third-round pick as compensation for the Patriots signing Sanders.
In three seasons with Pittsburgh Sanders has caught 94 passes with five touchdowns. His best season came last fall when the 5-11, 180 pounder hauled in 44 passes for 626 yards and a touchdown. The 25-year-old started seven of the 16 games he played for the Steelers in 2012.
After the ESPN report, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette veteran Steelers reporter Ed Bouchette tweeted that, "If Pats would sign Sanders Steelers wd have to bite bullet and match."
Other news on the wide receiver front for the Patriots saw ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss reiterate recent reports that New England aren't expected to pay Brandon Lloyd a $ 3 million roster bonus that's due this Saturday. Reiss reports that the Patriots and Lloyd's side "have entered into talks on a restructured contract." So Lloyd could potentially return at a lesser cost as the Patriots continue to tweak and build the passing attack after the departure ofWes Welker.
After a quiet start to free agency, the news out of Foxborough has been coming a fast and furious of late. Be sure to check back to the PFW blog here on Patriots.com for all the latest reports, rumors and signings.
Do you like the idea of signing Sanders and giving up the third-round pick as compensation? Let us know with a comment below!