Restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders has signed an offer sheet with the Patriots.
The terms are not yet known, but the Steelers now have five days to match or let Sanders walk. Although "poison pill" offer sheets were outlawed in the new CBA, the Patriots have an abundance of 2013 cap room while the Steelers have next to none. It's quite possible the Pats have structured their offer in a way that would be difficult or impossible for the Steelers to match. If that's the case, Pittsburgh would receive New England's third-round pick as compensation since Sanders was tendered at the original-round level. It's an aggressive move by a Patriots team clearly intent on remaking its receiver corps, and an ominous development for a Pittsburgh club that's been shedding talent. Were Sanders to end up in New England, it would almost certainly signal an end to Brandon Lloyd's time with the team.