Emmanuel Sanders, who is toward the end of his playing career, is looking to win a championship. He didn't see that happening with the way things are going this season for the Denver Broncos. That prompted a conversation with general manager John Elway.

"I've only got two more years left, or three more years left of playing football," Sanders told Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. "I'm trying to win a championship. Obviously, they've got a young locker room over there, so we both made a decision if a trade comes about, that he would keep me posted and possibly trade me."

A trade did come about. The San Francisco 49ers came calling.

General manager John Lynch, a close friend of Elway's, worked hard over the last few days to finalize a deal, and it got done on Tuesday. Draft picks were exchanged, and Sanders goes from a 2-5 team scrambling to figure things out to an undefeated team with its eyes set on a strong playoff push.

Now, it is just a matter of picking up head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.


"It's a cram job," Shanahan said on Wednesday. "We're doing a lot of stuff. He got in late last night. I know (receivers coach) Wes (Welker) met him over at the hotel just to review a bunch of stuff before he got in real early today. He went through install. We just went through walkthrough. [...] We'll go out and practice, and see how it goes. Then we'll come in and watch it together, and I'm sure he'll stay with Wes and (offensive assistant) Miles (Austin) throughout the night.

"It's always very tough to get a guy caught up. It definitely gives us an advantage that he's got some familiarity with the offense, with what he was doing in Denver."

Sanders has familiarity with the playbook because his offensive coordinator in Denver is Rich Scangarello, who is the Niners' former quarterbacks coach.


"I'd say about 90 percent of it is similar," Sanders said. "Obviously, there's 10 percent that the terminology is different, and I've got to get adjusted to that. I look forward to it."

Sanders instantly becomes the 49ers' most experienced and productive receiver. His 367 receiving yards this season are more than the combined total of San Francisco's top two wideouts, Marquise Goodwin and Deebo Samuel.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo learned of the trade on Tuesday via a text message from his brother. He's excited about addiing an experienced weapon on offense.

"He's picking things up quickly," Garoppolo told reporters on Wednesday. "It will be a challenge, but it's great to have him in here."

Sanders has been hard at work studying the playbook since his plane landed in the Bay Area on Tuesday night. The receiver will play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, said Shanahan.

"I got out here around about 9 (p.m.) and studied until about 11, 11:30 (p.m.)," Sanders said. "Had to be up for my physical around 5 (a.m.). So it's been going by fast, but I've been enjoying it, enjoying meeting everyone around the building and all the players, so I'm excited."