In a very subtle line of his mailbag post last night, Mike Klis of 9News reported that contract talks with Emmanuel Sanders have been put on hold.
Contract talks with Sanders, by the way, have been put on hold. Not off, but on hold. He is scheduled to make $5.6 million in the final year of his contract this season.
9 News had reported June 9 that contract talks had opened up with Sanders as the team sent a proposal and Sanders' agent Todd France sent a counter offer.
The Broncos' No. 2 wide receiver is heading into his final season of a three-year, $15 million deal he signed in 2014 after becoming a free agent from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sanders' base salary will be $5.6 million with a cap hit of $6.6 million this season.
"I don't want to go anywhere," Sanders told 9News a month ago. "I've expressed that to Elway. It's all about just getting the right number. I pray that they do come to the right number. I think I've given my heart to this city. I've never left anything on the field.''
He's right about that. No. 10 caught 16 passes for 230 yards in the Broncos' Super Bowl-winning postseason, while the other wide receivers combined for 18 catches and 188 yards.
And Pro Football Focus has named Sanders' current contract as one of the top five in the NFL based on performance for the price tag. No arguments here on that one.
Since joining the Broncos, Sanders has finished among the highest-graded wide receivers in the league, grading 13th highest last season with 87.2, according to PFF.
"Arguably one of the better free-agent signings of the PFF era (since 2007), Sanders has been productive despite the regression of Peyton Manning and the inexperience of Brock Osweiler. His 2.10 yards per route run last season was down from his 2.45 mark in 2014 (ninth in the NFL), while the 89.1 passer rating on passes in his direction was higher than the more generously-paid Pierre Garçon, Demaryius Thomas, Mike Wallace, and Dez Bryant."
In his first four seasons with Pittsburgh, Sanders averaged 40 catches, 508 yards and three touchdowns a year. In his last two years with the Broncos, Sanders has averaged 89 catches, 1,270 yards and eight touchdowns.
Aside from his outstanding effort on the field, Sanders' popularity with fans makes him a favorite for re-signing. But when your No. 2 is playing like most team's No. 1, it can be hard to find that much money - especially when there's also a Super Bowl MVP to extend.
But no doubt, after Miller, Sanders will be a priority for Elway.
I ain't goin nowhere. Unless they kick me out. https://t.co/6fXZdMy6R5— Emmanuel Sanders (@ESanders_10) July 4, 2016