While most of the big names have already been scooped up in the first days of NFL free agency, Emmanuel Sanders continues to play the waiting game.
After coming over to the 49ers in a midseason trade with the Denver Broncos, the veteran receiver immediately developed a strong connection with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and was a key component of San Francisco's offense on the way to Super Bowl LIV. Only George Kittle accounted for more receptions and receiving yards after Sanders' arrival, and it would appear that he has plenty left in the tank.
Whether he returns to the 49ers or departs in free agency remains to be seen.
"Hopefully we can run it back, but we’ll see," Sanders said Thursday on Facebook Live.
"The hardest thing about free agency," Sanders added, "is sometimes you want it right away but you have to wait and see what happens. I'm trying not to rush the process, because I know what I want out of a team and I know what my goals are. I’m trying to find the best fit."
It sounds like Sanders believes he would continue to be a fit with the 49ers. Meanwhile, the Dallas Cowboys are the only team that has been seriously linked to Sanders in free agency, and he did say that "it would be fun to play in Texas." The Cowboys reportedly re-signed Amari Cooper to a five-year contract extension, but saw Randall Cobb reportedly sign a three-year deal with the Houston Texans. Sanders could fill the role Cobb had last season, were he to sign with Dallas.
If Sanders wants to remain with the 49ers, however, chances are, he'll have to accept less money than other teams -- like the Cowboys -- might be able to offer. With a humongous extension looming for Kittle and approximately $7 million needed to set aside to sign San Francisco's upcoming draft class, the 49ers currently don't have much wiggle room to be able to pay Sanders what the market likely will dictate.
That said, Sanders, 33, is in the twilight of his NFL career. He doesn't expect to play many more seasons, and if he's looking for the right fit, that presumably would be with a team capable of contending for the Super Bowl.
The 49ers certainly qualify.