Patriots

Report: 49ers acquire WR Emmanuel Sanders in trade with Broncos

Report: 49ers acquire WR Emmanuel Sanders in trade with Broncos

Shortly after the New England Patriots traded for Mohamed Sanu, the San Francisco 49ers responded by acquiring a wide receiver of their own.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos sent Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth-round draft pick to San Francisco for third and fourth-round picks. Denver apparently preferred to keep Sanders for their Week 8 matchup vs. the Colts, but that didn't go as planned.

Sanders is a great addition to a 6-0 Niners squad in need of a veteran wide receiver presence, but it appears he wasn't their first choice. They targeted Sanu before the ex-Falcons wideout landed with New England, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Now, Sanders will catch passes from ex-Patriots backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Given that Pats connection, along with San Francisco originally targeting Sanu and running back Matt Breida "liking the 49ers' chances" vs. New England, a potential Super Bowl 54 matchup between the two squads just got even more intriguing.

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Eagles cornerback details what makes Julian Edelman so hard to defend

Eagles cornerback details what makes Julian Edelman so hard to defend

Julian Edelman is the New England Patriots' clear No. 1 wide receiver. He ranks third in the NFL in receptions and has at least seven catches in five consecutive games.

Which begs the question: If Edelman such an essential part of the Patriots' offense, why don't opposing defenses load up to stop him?

The answer: That's easier said than done.

Ahead of Sunday's Eagles-Patriots matchup in Philadelphia, Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox explained why teams have a hard time containing Edelman even when they're keyed in on him.

"He's very quick. Physical. Great hands," Maddox said Friday, via NFL Network's Mike Giardi. "They (Edelman and quarterback Tom Brady) got a connection between them two that is very unique.

"His route running ... it's hard to know whether he's going in or out."

Maddox's scouting report checks out. Hall of Famer Jerry Rice recently claimed Edelman has the best footwork of any wide receiver in the NFL, citing his ability to get separation with quick explosive cuts.

Edelman likely will be Maddox's problem Sunday, as the 23-year-old has been playing slot cornerback for Philly with Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby playing on the outside.

Maddox knows staying with Edelman will be a tall task, but he has a plan of attack for Sunday.

"You've just got to be aggressive," Maddox said, via Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. "You've got to get in the receiver's face. You can't give him too much room (for Brady) to pick you apart."

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NFL rumors: Eagles intend to sign RB Jay Ajayi before Week 11 game vs. Patriots

NFL rumors: Eagles intend to sign RB Jay Ajayi before Week 11 game vs. Patriots

A second stint with the Philadelphia Eagles for Jay Ajayi appears imminent.

The Eagles "intend to sign" the veteran running back, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday.

Philadelphia will host the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field in one of Sunday's most anticipated Week 11 matchups. The Eagles need all the offensive depth they can get because the Patriots have the league's best defense in terms of yards and points allowed per game.

Ajayi has 28 carries for 75 rushing yards, as well as seven receptions for 51 yards in three career regular season games against the Patriots. He has not scored a touchdown versus the Pats.

The need for the Eagles to add another running back was increased over the last 24 hours given running back Darren Sproles' injury situation. Sproles was added to the injury report Thursday with a quadriceps issue, and NFL Media's Mike Garafolo reported Friday that the veteran running back will not play again this season.

Ajayi was acquired by the Eagles in a trade with the Miami Dolphins during the 2017 season, and he averaged 5.1 yards per carry en route to a Super Bowl LII win over the Patriots. He tore his ACL in Week 5 of the 2018 campaign and missed the rest of the season.

The Eagles also brought back veteran wide receiver Jordan Matthews earlier this week after their receiving depth was hit hard by injuries to DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery.

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