Denver Broncos sign free agent WR Emmanuel Sanders to a 3-year, $15 million deal

DENVER - It didn’t take long for the Denver Broncos to find Eric Decker’s replacement.

The team announced Sunday that they have agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on a three-year contract, pending a physical, Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway announced. The contract is worth $15 million according to ESPN.

Sanders will take the place of former Bronco Eric Decker who signed a free agent deal with the New York Jets on Thursday.

Sanders, 26, is a is a fifth-year player who appeared in 56 career regular-season games and started in contests during his first four NFL seasons with Pittsburgh, totaling 161 receptions for 2,030 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also owns 13 catches for 172 yards in four career postseason games played.

He started 10-of-16 games for the Steelers in 2013 and recorded a career-high 67 receptions, 740 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Sanders caught at least one pass in every game and finished the year with four touchdowns in the Steelers’ final six contests.

Selected by Pittsburgh in the third round with the 82nd pick overall of the 2010 NFL Draft from Southern Methodist University, Sanders played in 13 regular-season games, including one start as a rookie. He also appeared in all three playoff games for the Steelers, including Super Bowl XLV against Green Bay. He saw action in 11 games during his second NFL season in 2011 before opening 7-of-16 games for Pittsburgh in 2012.

He finished his collegiate career as SMU’s all-time leader in career receptions with 235, receiving yards with 3,791, 34 receiving touchdowns and 16 100-yard receiving games as he topped the 600-yard mark in all four seasons on campus. Sanders was named first-team All-Conference USA following his senior year when he set single-season school records with 98 catches for 1,339 yards to go along with seven touchdowns.

An all-district running back, wide receiver and safety at Bellville (Texas) High School, Sanders was named Team MVP and Tri-County Offensive Player of the Year following his senior campaign. Sanders was born on March 17, 1987.

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