Emmanuel Sanders

Patriots are betting front-runners to land Emmanuel Sanders in trade

Patriots are betting front-runners to land Emmanuel Sanders in trade

According to at least one sportsbook, the buzz about Emmanuel Sanders potentially joining the New England Patriots is very real.

The Patriots have the best odds (+200) to acquire the Denver Broncos wide receiver before the NFL trade deadline, according to SportsLine Oddsmakers.

New England has plenty of competition for Sanders; the San Francisco 49ers are in a close second at +250 odds, while four other NFC teams and one other AFC club (the Baltimore Ravens at +700) also are in the running.

These odds come one day after a report that the 2-5 Broncos are "likely" to trade the veteran wide receiver before next Tuesday's deadline.

The Patriots seem to be an obvious fit: Bill Belichick's club already has tried and failed to integrate star wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Antonio Brown, and with Josh Gordon currently injured, the team's depth chart after Julian Edelman -- Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski -- is pretty uninspiring.

Sanders is 32 years old and coming off an Achilles injury but has managed to be somewhat productive in Denver's anemic offense, with 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

The Broncos reportedly are seeking a third-round pick or better for Sanders, so the Patriots will have to weigh their options. But it appears they're very much in the hunt for the two-time Pro Bowler.

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NFL rumors: Broncos likely to trade WR Emmanuel Sanders before deadline

NFL rumors: Broncos likely to trade WR Emmanuel Sanders before deadline

The Denver Broncos are 2-5 with the NFL trade deadline approaching, and the smart route for the AFC West team would be trading veterans for draft picks in an effort to rebuild the roster.

One veteran who should interest teams around the league is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reported Sunday that Sanders is "likely" to be traded before the deadline, which is set for Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET. 

Sanders is in the final year of his contract. He's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019 season.

The 32-year-old wideout has tallied 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns through seven games for the Broncos this season. He is one of the top wide receivers who could be dealt at the trade deadline, and several contending teams, including the New England Patriots, would greatly benefit from adding a player of Sanders' caliber. The Patriots signed Sanders to an offer sheet in 2013, but the Pittsburgh Steelers matched it. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday the Broncos are expected to seek better than a fourth-round draft pick in exchange for Sanders if he's traded.

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NFL rumors: Broncos' expected asking price for Emmanuel Sanders revealed

NFL rumors: Broncos' expected asking price for Emmanuel Sanders revealed

The NFL trade deadline is set for Oct. 29 at 4 p.m. ET, and the Denver Broncos have one of the top wide receivers who could be dealt.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Sunday, citing sources, that the Broncos "are likely to be open to listening to offers for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders."

What is Denver's expected asking price for Sanders? A third-round pick or better, per Schefter:

Denver traded fellow veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Texans last year for a 2019 fourth-round pick, and sources tell ESPN that the Broncos are expected to be seeking a higher form of compensation for Sanders, who is in the last year of his contract.

Schefter also listed several teams "expected to be in the wide receiver market," and the New England Patriots were among those clubs.

The Patriots definitely would benefit from adding a wide receiver before the trade deadline.

Veteran wideout Josh Gordon will miss Monday night's Week 7 game against the New York Jets because of a knee injury. Phillip Dorsett missed New England's Week 6 win with a hamstring injury, and he's questionable to play versus the Jets. Reigining Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman also has been banged up a bit this season, although he has not missed a game.

Making matters worse for New England is its lack of offensive production at tight end. And now, injuries also are a concern at the position. The Patriots already have ruled out tight ends Matt LaCosse (knee) and Ryan Izzo (concussion) for Monday's matchup in New York, leaving 38-year-old Benjamin Watson atop the tight end depth chart.

Sanders and Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green are two of the most popular wide receivers involved in trade rumors entering the deadline. Green has battled an ankle injury all season and has yet to play in 2019. Sanders, meanwhile, has played in all seven of Denver's games with 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns. He can play outside or in the slot, and we know Patriots head coach Bill Belichick values versatility quite a bit.

The Patriots must decide if adding a player of Sanders' caliber is worth the cost required to bring him to New England. The Patriots are 6-0, but there are genuine concerns about their depth at wide receiver. Taking a chance on Sanders, even at the cost of a valuable draft pick, does make sense because New England should do all it can to maximize what's left of quarterback Tom Brady's career.

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