Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was considering the three NFC teams that finished this past season with 13-3 records before ultimately choosing the New Orleans Saints as his new NFL home.

The other two clubs were the Green Bay Packers and, yes, the San Francisco 49ers, Sanders recently told Rich Eisen.

That is significant because while Sanders always left the door open to return to the Bay Area in 2020, as of March 9, the 49ers had not initiated talks with the veteran receiver. That, apparently, changed after the start of free agency, and as demand for Sanders ramped up, leading to his signing with the Saints on March 20.

"I was talking to Green Bay," Sanders told Eisen. "I was talking to the Niners. Just trying to figure out what type of deal, what type of money are you talking about.

"And then the Saints called, and I was ecstatic about them calling, and the opportunity to play with Drew Brees and everything. The numbers made sense, and Drew had two more years left on his deal, and I signed a two-year deal."


There were even rumors that the Dallas Cowboys were interested in Sanders, which he never denied. The receiver had previously said that he stopped considering other teams when the Saints called.

Apparently, that included San Francisco.

Sanders said he also spoke with the Bills at the start of free agency, who expressed interest in adding the receiver. That, however, ended when they traded for Minnesota Vikings wideout Stefon Diggs about 30 minutes after Sanders spoke with the team.

Sanders said that, after deciding to sign with the Saints, he immediately looked at the team's schedule. While he didn't mention it during the interview with Eisen, one of those opponents is the 49ers, whom the Saints will host in New Orleans for the second consecutive year.

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