Rumors are circulating that when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders hits free agency on Tuesday afternoon, he may already have a suitor. And, if those rumors are true, Detroit WR Calvin Johnson could have a sidekick... Yeah, the Starscream label has already been assigned.
Sanders was the Steelers number two wide receiver (behind Antonio Brown) in 2013, hauling in 67 catches for 740 yards, while adding six touchdowns. Landing Sanders would give the Lions a proven, young WR to compliment the best in the game. Sanders caught at least one ball for over 20 yards in 9 of the team's 16 games, and found the end zone in four of the last six games of the year.
Simply HAVING a threat lining up on the other side will be a welcome sight for Megatron and quarterback, Matt Stafford. Beyond Johnson, Detroit's next two leading receivers in 2013 were running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush. Their second best wideout was Kris Durham, who put up a pedestrian stat line of 39 receptions for 490 yards and only two touchdowns.
If Sanders ends up in Detroit, expect him to have a similar season to the one he had in Pittsburgh in 2013, possibly a little better. Johnson's numbers could get even better by having a legitimate running mate on the other side. Not to offend anyone the Lions used as their #2 last year, but Sanders would be a huge upgrade over anyone they lined up with in 2013.
I'll be so bold as to say, if the Lions get Sanders, expect Calvin Johnson to eclipse 120 receptions, 1,800 yards, and approach the 20 touchdown mark.