- Grove City, Pennsylvania

April 17, 2013

RANDOM THOUGHTS: Signing Sanders was a bad move for the Steelers

By Corey J. Corbin
Allied News Sports Columnist

OPINION — BACK WHEN I WAS kid we had a saying for when one of our friends messed up and if I saw Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert within the next few days, I would probably break it out again.

The saying?

“Smooth move ex-lax!”

Just days after Colbert stupidly decided to match the offer sheet Emmanuel Sanders signed with the New England Patriots a week ago, Sanders’ agent Jordan Woy very publicly announced he and his client would be content to play out his new one-year, $2.5 million contract before testing the free agent waters next spring.

To think he could have had a third round pick and more salary cap breathing room instead of this newest headache.

Talk about your bone-headed moves.

You would think Colbert would have done his homework — and made sure Sanders would sign a long-term deal with the Steelers — before deciding to match the offer sheet.

He’s clearly going to have a chip on his shoulder this fall and it will only help the Black and Gold in 2013.

He won’t pull a Mike Wallace and put little to no effort in, because he needs to produce to reel in that big contract.

Whereas Wallace already had produced, Sanders hasn’t produced enough to warrant the kind contract he’s envisioning.

One the Steelers definitely won’t be able to give him with Maurkice Pouncey and others needing new deals in the near future.

So Sanders won’t let the door hit him on the way out just as Keenan Lewis and Wallace did this spring and the Steelers will have nothing to show for it.

Which is why letting Sanders walk into Tom Brady’s waiting arms would have been the more prudent move.

Not only would it have opened up another $1 million-plus to sign free agents (receiver/kick returner Steve Breaston or running back Ahmad Bradshaw) not to mention allowing the Steelers to secure another young player at a position of their choosing.

Yeah, Breaston nd Bradshaw are damaged goods, but Sanders has also had issues staying healthy during his short NFL career.

I think Breaston and Sanders could be considered equals in offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense with Breaston having a slight edge due to his ability to return kicks.

And that’s not even mentioning the third round pick.

I understand at No. 91 overall its almost in the fourth round, but it would allow the team some flexibility when selecting next weekend.

Having four picks in the top 91 selections isn’t something to sneeze at and would definitely start to fill some of the team’s many holes.

That’s not even mentioning the fact that the Steelers would control those players’ rights for the next four years — unlike the one year they control Sanders.

I know I’m getting ahead of myself in thinking all four players would pan out and be instantaneous contributors, but who’s to say they wouldn’t have.

It’s all a moot point now, because Colbert already made up his mind and brought Sanders back to Pittsburgh for one more year.

Smooth move ex-lax.

Agree, disagree or just want to comment? Contact Corey at