Emmanuel Sanders' grandma played part in him leaving 49ers for Saints


Emmanuel Sanders isn't exactly going home, but he's moving somewhat closer.

After spending the first part of the 2019 season in Denver and finishing the season in San Francisco with the 49ers, the Bellville, Texas native agreed to terms on a two-year, $16 million contract with the Saints on Sunday.

A big reason Sanders decided to join the Saints was the proximity to his grandmother, who still lives in Bellville, which is roughly 400 miles from the Superdome in New Orleans.

“One of the first people I called was my grandma, because she called me, her and my aunt were on the phone when free agency started, and she said, ‘We’re praying you go to New Orleans!’ The Texans, they had an opportunity and needed a receiver, the Cowboys needed one, but my grandma was talking about New Orleans because she loves that team,” Sanders said Sunday during a conference call, according to The Athletic. “She loves Drew Brees, she loves Sean Payton, she loves the offense and she wanted to watch me play. When I called her and told her she was so excited about it.


“Not only that, she’s excited because literally they can drive to the game if they wanted. My family, I don’t know how far of a distance it is, but I know last year when [the 49ers played the Saints] I had like 15 family members drive up, so it can’t be that long of a drive. So that’s pretty cool to be back down south and be close to my family as well.”

Acquired in a midseason trade, Sanders played a big part in helping the 49ers reach Super Bowl LIV, and he very well could have gotten back there with San Francisco in the 2020 season. But with limited salary-cap space, the 49ers had to let Sanders walk.

[RELATED: Sanders thanks 49ers fans]

Sanders, who won a Super Bowl with the Broncos on Feb. 7, 2016, will now have a chance to capture his second ring.

But the 33-year-old might have to go through his former team to achieve his goal.