That Patriots receiving corps that was so depleted last month is now starting to look pretty formidable once again. On Wednesday, New England re-signed one wideout and began the process on signing another.
First, the Patriots extended a one-year, $2.5 million offer to restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders . The Patriots have been interested in Sanders for some time; rumors of the Patriots offering him a contract go back a month. Now, it's official. The Steelers have until Sunday to decide whether they want to match this offer and keep Sanders or let him switch teams and accept New England's third-round pick this year.
While that is being decided, the Patriots re-signed Julian Edelman . Edelman saw a lot of playing time last year before hand and foot injuries did him in. He caught 21 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
The Edelman signing is big for the Patriots but not as much for Edelman right now. Edelman showed last year that he can be a Wes Welker-lite type of player. But his improving strength and straight-line speed could lead to him seeing more and more snaps outside the numbers. Plus, he's a solid punt returner. Maybe he will take away a little bit of Danny Amendola 's value, but if this offense is running at 100 percent, Edelman is probably just the No. 4 receiving option, at best. But if Amendola suffers a long-term injury -- and he has a history of doing that -- Edelman's fantasy value should get a big bump.
The addition of Sanders would be a boon for an offense that needs a young, field-stretching wide receiver. It didn't work last year with Brandon Lloyd, but Sanders is just 26 and extremely elusive. We'll have more on this when the Steelers decide whether or not to match the Patriots' offer. It could be tough (Update: or not) given that they have very little salary-cap space.
But let's assume this all works out, and Sanders joins the Pats. An offense that consists of Sanders, Edelman, Amendola, Aaron Hernandez and (hopefully) Rob Gronkowski looks pretty, pretty, pretty good.