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Steelers match offer for Emmanuel Sanders

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04: Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates a fumble recovery while playing the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on December 4, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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The Steelers had a decision to make Sunday about whether or not to match the offer sheet wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Patriots and they’ve made their call.

Jordan Woy, Sanders’ agent, sent out a tweet announcing that the Steelers have decided to match the offer rather than accept a third-round pick as compensation from New England. Sanders now stands to make $2.5 million in 2013 under the terms of the offer he accepted from New England.

The Steelers can now try to work on a longer deal with Sanders in order to lower that cap number and keep him in Pittsburgh for a few more years. If they don’t, Sanders will be on track to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

The Patriots will now likely look to the draft to round out their receiving corps. They re-signed Julian Edelman to go with Danny Amendola, but their pursuit of Sanders makes it clear that they have more they’d like to do at the spot before the 2013 season gets underway.