Emmanuel Sanders

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Emmanuel Sanders
refer to caption
Sanders with the Denver Broncos in 2014
No. 10 – Denver Broncos
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1987-03-17) March 17, 1987 (age 30)
Bellville, Texas
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High school: Bellville (TX)
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 3 / Pick: 82
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 10, 2017
Receptions: 449
Receiving yards: 6,034
Receiving TDs: 33
Player stats at NFL.com

Emmanuel Niamiah Sanders[1] (born March 17, 1987) is an American football wide receiver for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at SMU, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Sanders attended Bellville High School in Bellville, Texas, where he was a four-sport star in football, basketball, baseball, and track. In football, in which he was most notable, Sanders was a first-team All-District performer at running back, wide receiver, and safety. As a senior, he rushed for 499 yards with six touchdowns, hauled in 24 catches for 414 yards and a score while also throwing for a touchdown. On defense, he recorded 49 tackles and three interceptions. He was named Team MVP and Tri-County Offensive Player of the Year following his senior season. In all, he earned seven All-District honors during his high school career.[2] Regarded only as a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Sanders chose SMU over scholarship offers from TCU, Kansas, Baylor, and Houston.[3]

College career[edit]

After graduating from high school, Sanders was a three-year starter at Southern Methodist University. He was awarded All-Conference honors his final two seasons. As a sophomore, Sanders had 74 receptions for 889 yards and nine touchdowns. As a junior, he had 67 receptions for 958 yards and nine touchdowns. As a senior, he had 98 receptions for 1,339 and seven touchdowns. In addition, he averaged 13.8 yards on 20 punt returns with an additional score.[4]

College statistics[edit]

Year Team GP Rec Yards TDs
2006 SMU 12 46 605 9
2007 SMU 12 74 889 9
2008 SMU 10 67 958 9
2009 SMU 13 98 1,339 7
College Totals 47 285 3,791 34


Professional career[edit]

2010 NFL Combine[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad
5 ft 11 in
(1.80 m)
186 lb
(84 kg)
4.41 s 4.10 s 6.60 s 39.5 in
(1.00 m)
8 ft 6 in
(2.59 m)
All values from NFL Combine

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Sanders during his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2010 season[edit]

Despite being fourth on the Steelers' team depth chart for much of the 2010 season, Sanders still managed to finish off his rookie year with 28 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns. Sanders and the Steelers would reach the Super Bowl after they beat the New York Jets 24–19 in the AFC Championship game. In Super Bowl XLV, Sanders had two catches for 17 yards, but left the game in the second quarter with a foot injury. The Steelers lost 31–25 to the Green Bay Packers.[6]

2011 season[edit]

In 2011, Sanders became an integral part of the receiving corps on the team along with teammates Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. The three players developed a nickname for themselves known collectively as the "Young Money Family" or "Young Money Crew," inspired by rapper Lil Wayne. Within the group, Sanders was sometimes referred to as "Easy Money" since his first initial is "E."[7] The wide receiver trio also dubbed the nickname "Bugatti Boys" for themselves, also after a rap group.[8]

2012 season[edit]

In 2012, Sanders was instructed to meet with league officials for falling to the turf with an alleged leg cramp during the Steelers' win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 7; Pittsburgh could have used a timeout, but did not due to Sanders' "injury".[9] On November 9, 2012, the league fined Sanders $15,000 and the Steelers $35,000 for the incident.[10] NFL VP of Operations Ray Anderson used video evidence of Sanders out-sprinting his teammates, just one play after sitting out from his injury, as proof that the injury was fake.[11] This is the first time in league history a player has been fined for faking an injury.

2013 season[edit]

On April 10, 2013, the New England Patriots signed Sanders to an offer sheet that the Steelers had five days to match. On Sunday, April 14, the Steelers matched the offer sheet, meaning Sanders would stay with the team for the 2013 season.[12]

Denver Broncos[edit]

Sanders agreed on terms to sign as a free agent with the Denver Broncos on March 15, 2014.[13] The next day, after it was announced the contract was for $15 million for three years, executives representing the Kansas City Chiefs complained that Sanders's agent, Steve Weinberg, had accepted a deal with the Chiefs in principle.[14]

2014 season[edit]

In his debut as a member of the Denver Broncos, Sanders recorded six receptions for 77 yards in a 31–24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.[15] Sanders caught his first touchdown pass as a Bronco in a 42–17 win over the San Francisco 49ers on October 19, 2014, a game that also saw Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning become the all-time leader in career passing touchdowns.[16] In the Broncos next contest, a 35–21 win over AFC West rivals San Diego Chargers, Sanders caught 9 passes for 120 yards and 3 touchdowns.[17]

On November 16, 2014, during the Broncos' 22–7 loss against the St. Louis Rams, Sanders suffered a concussion after being hit by Rams safety Rodney McLeod.[18]

Sanders finished the 2014 season with a career-high in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He had 101 catches, 1,404 yards, and 9 touchdowns. As a result of his successful 2014 season, Sanders made his first career Pro Bowl.

2015 season[edit]

On December 20, 2015, Sanders had 10 catches and a career-high 181 yards for a touchdown in a 34-27 loss to his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sanders finished the 2015 season with 76 catches, 1,135 yards, and six touchdowns. The Broncos finished 12-4 and earned the #1 seed for the AFC playoffs. The Broncos defeated the Steelers and Patriots to reach Super Bowl 50, where they defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24–10.[19] Sanders was the leading receiver in the Super Bowl with six catches for 83 yards.[20] He was ranked 74th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[21]

2016 season[edit]

On September 7, 2016, Sanders signed a three-year contract extension with the Broncos.[22] In the 2016 season, Sanders recorded his third career and consecutive 1,000 receiving yards season, all with the Broncos.

2017 season[edit]

On September 17, 2017, in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys, Sanders had six receptions for 62 yards and two touchdowns in the 42–17 victory.[23]

Career statistics[edit]

Season Team Games Receiving
GP GS Rec Yds Avg TDs Long
2010 PIT 13 1 28 376 13.4 2 35
2011 PIT 11 0 22 288 13.1 2 32
2012 PIT 16 7 44 626 14.2 1 37
2013 PIT 16 10 67 740 11.0 6 55T
2014 DEN 16 16 101 1,404 13.9 9 48
2015 DEN 15 15 76 1,135 14.9 6 75T
2016 DEN 16 16 79 1,032 13.1 5 64
2017 DEN 6 6 26 296 11.4 2 33
Career 109 71 443 5,897 13.3 33 75


  1. ^ "ESPN Profile". ESPN.com. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Rivals.com". rivals.yahoo.com. 
  4. ^ "Emmanuel Sanders". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Emmanuel Sanders College Stats - College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. 
  6. ^ "Super Bowl XLV - Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers - February 6th, 2011". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-11-06. 
  7. ^ "Steelers Receivers use Lil Wayne as Inspiration for Young Money Family". USA Today. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Receivers flourish in Steelers' win over Cardinals". Tribal Live. October 24, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Emmanuel Sanders: I didn't fake leg cramp for Steelers". National Football League. 2012-10-31. Retrieved 2012-10-31. 
  10. ^ "Steelers, WR Sanders fined for faking injury". Yahoo! Sports. 2012-11-09. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  11. ^ "Wow, the NFL Actually fined a player for Faking and Injury". Deadspin. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Steelers match one year 25 million offer sheet Emmanuel Sanders signed with New England". Post Gazette. April 14, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  13. ^ Rosenthal, Gregg (March 15, 2014). "Emmanuel Sanders agrees to join Denver Broncos". NFL.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  14. ^ Rapoport, Ian (March 16, 2014). "Emmanuel Sanders deal leaves executives crying foul". NFL.com. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  15. ^ "Peyton Manning keys Broncos' first-half romp before Colts' rally falters". ESPN. September 7, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Peyton Manning surpasses Brett Favre for career TD passes in rout". ESPN. October 19, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Emmanuel Sanders breaks out with 3 TDs as Broncos dump Chargers". ESPN. October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Broncos lose Julius Thomas, Sanders to injuries". Washington Post. November 16, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  20. ^ "Super Bowl 50 - National Football League Game Summary" (PDF). NFL.com. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "'Top 100 Players of 2016': No. 74 Emmanuel Sanders". NFL.com. 
  22. ^ Mason, Andrew. "Broncos agree to terms with WR Emmanuel Sanders on a contract extension". DenverBroncos.com. 
  23. ^ "Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos - September 17th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 

External links[edit]