Newly-minted Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders denied ever having a verbal agreement with the the Kansas City Chiefs.
There have been reports that the Chiefs are upset with Sanders' agent, Steve Weinberg, for allegedly reneging on a deal with the Chiefs. Sanders denied that was the case, and NFL contracts aren't binding until they're signed.
“That entire situation is a business ordeal that some people will turn into a personal matter," Sanders said during his introductory press conference after signing a three-year contract worth up to $18 million, including $6 million guaranteed. "Situations like that happen all the time over the National Football League. There was no handshake. There was no kind of agreement in terms of—we were close to a deal, but it wasn’t anything official just yet. In terms of shopping around, we didn’t shop around. Teams were still calling.
"Teams were still trying to get involved. That’s what happened. Steve Weinberg, he did an exceptional job in terms of the whole free-agency process. At times, I was like, ‘Steve, what is going on? Am I flying East Coast or West Coast?’ But I believe in him. Everything that he said was going to happen, happened. I ended up at the place that I needed to be. I’m excited and he’s excited also.”
Sanders is a versatile slot wide receiver who can also line up outside and has return skills.
Last season, Sanders caught a career-high 67 passes for 740 yards and six touchdowns.
He was hoping the Broncos would get involved throughout the free agency process.
“Well, when me and Steve sat down, I told him that depending on what’s going on with the other receiver that’s with New York now (Eric Decker), depending on what they do with him, I would love to come over and play with Peyton Manning," Sanders said. "His resume speaks for itself. I said that. I told Steve to make sure he called over to the Broncos and let them know that I’m interested. So we started the free-agency process, but every day I was asking Steve, ‘Did they call? Did they call?’ And they finally called. The numbers matched and now I’m here right now sitting in front of you guys.”
The former SMU standout has caught 161 career passes for 2,030 yards and 11 touchdowns in four NFL seasons.
“It definitely can make me a better player," Sanders said. "So to play with Peyton Manning is like wide receiver heaven. I feel like he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Definitely I look up to him a lot in terms of his preparation, and I know that he’s going to make me a better player whether it’s mentally and physically. I know that I’m in a great environment.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun