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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders signing 2-year deal with Saints

Mar 20, 2020 at 7:15 PM--

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Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders intends to sign with the New Orleans Saints, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN. He will reportedly receive a two-year deal worth up to $19 million ($16 million, plus incentives) to join the NFC South champions.

The 49ers will travel to New Orleans next season to play the Saints.

There was a report of mutual interest between Sanders and the Dallas Cowboys. The Saints' interest seemingly came out of nowhere. Sanders, however, did receive a text from his agent during a virtual online signing with fans on Thursday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Green Bay Packers were also interested in Sanders.

The 49ers acquired Sanders, a 10-year veteran, via a mid-season trade that sent him to San Francisco from the Denver Broncos.

"I enjoyed this season," Sanders told reporters the week after the Super Bowl LIV loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "I love the Niners organization, so we're going to see what's to happen."

The Pittsburgh Steelers made Sanders a third-round selection out of SMU in 2010. He registered 66 receptions for 869 yards with five touchdowns through 17 regular-season games and 16 starts with both the 49ers and Denver Broncos in 2019. He played 17 regular-season games because the 49ers already had their bye week upon being traded, but the Broncos had not.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a passer rating of 90.8 before Sanders' arrival. That mark increased to 108.1 after the Broncos-to-49ers trade (h/t to Iggy-C).

"You can't even describe it, what E did," Garoppolo said of Sanders, "coming in the way he did, never asking for the ball, never doing too much. He was exactly what we needed on this team. That veteran presence for the younger receivers, for just everyone, myself included. Just everything he did, he did it with class, and you couldn't ask for a better teammate."

Sanders, 33, has caught 601 passes for 7,893 yards with 42 touchdowns through his 10 NFL seasons. He is a two-time Pro Bowl selection (2014, 2016), and was part of the Broncos' Super Bowl 50 championship team.

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