Is there more to the Emmanuel Sanders saga than has been considered since he officially signed an offer sheet with the New England Patriots, leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers only five days to match or settle for the 91st pick overall as compensation?
Survival is a game of chance! Revenge is a calculated plan of action.— Emmanuel Sanders (@E_Sanders88) April 3, 2013
In this modern, social media driven world we live in today, NFL players are constantly finding new ways to get into trouble on Twitter. While some take it to extremes - Rashard Mendenhall, Victor Cruz - usually Twitter exposes the lack of wisdom and discernment of players like Alameda Ta'amu.
Many feel reading too far between the lines is an unfair way to make an assessment, considering these players are human beings using their American right to free-speech in a public digital place. However, sometimes timings and subject material are far too close to reality to be disregarded as innocent thumb banter.
Based on the timeliness of the tweet, Sanders shared this little tidbit of wisdom while the NFL world was patiently waiting for news of whether he had received, or would receive, a Patriots offer; or if he actually would sign one if or when it was presented to him.
Hopefully, he was simply sharing the new chapter from his most recent copy of Chicken Soup for the Rap Enthusiast's Soul , but he is most likely referring to reality - or at least, his reality. To be safe, we will assume he is not. If he is, he may have lost his mind.
The latest collective bargaining agreement has only further enabled the idea NFL players have become a disposable commodity, making it understandable why any player would entertain the idea of a pay-raise considering the short shelf-life associated with the average career. The head-scratcher in this story lies in the fact his pay-raise was barely over a million dollars more, and no extra seasons. As has been theorized already, the Patriots could be planning to offer him something more, but those are not the details of the offer sheet he signed.
This is where the ambiguous Tweet leaves too much room for curiosity. Did Sanders sincerely view the offer sheet as part of the NFL player's survival? Or, did he simply jump ship out of revenge? If so, exactly who is he revenging against?
Did he take exception with the departures of Mike Wallace or Mendenhall? Perhaps it was the handling of the James Harrison and Willie Colon situations which set him off?
Sanders has not been shy in the past about his desire to receive a long-term offer this off-season. While he was not as outspoken as Wallace was last year, he definitely had no intention of signing his RFA tender until he had to. Perhaps Sanders chose to accept the Patriots offer because the Steelers did not make the type of effort he had hoped to see from them, although New England wasn't exactly expeditious in their pursuit of Sanders, either.
Hopefully, his Tweet was completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. Perhaps it was an attempt at profundity, which has become the ultimate trend on Twitter. If it really was an admittance of an attempt to manipulate or spite the Steelers organization, the team will find the third-round compensatory draft pick even more attractive than Sanders' experience.
Most who know Sanders, speak of him as a high character guy, which sprinkles some doubt on the relevance of his tweet. However, the fact the young money crew dissipated at the same time the organization was attempting to repair reported fractures in the locker room, may be more than just coincidental.