Emmanuel Sanders, now with the Broncos, nearly became a Patriot on two separate occasions.
The wide receiver originally signed an offer sheet from New England during the 2013 offseason. But his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, matched the offer. He saw free agency again this past offseason and once again nearly inked a deal to play in Foxborough.
Chris Wesseling of NFL.com believes that had Sanders not switched agents during this past offseason, he could have ended up playing for Tom Brady instead of Peyton Manning.
"Emmanuel loved it there," current agent Steve Weinberg told CSN New England's Tom Curran on Friday. "He said, 'Give me Danny Amendola's deal and I'm there.'"
Weinberg went on to say that the Patriots did not get aggressive until later in the process and if they were aggressive from the beginning, a deal very likely would have been reached. Sanders is in the first year of a three-year deal with the Broncos for $18 million.
Amendola signed with the Patriots during the 2013 offseason for five years at a total of $28.5 million.
There's no telling what kind of impact Sanders would have had with the Patriots, but the guess here is that he would have had more of a role in the offense than Amendola has up to this point because Sanders doesn't have much of an injury history, if any.
He stretches the field better than Amendola does and can play both on the outside and in the slot.
Sanders has been very productive for the Broncos so far this season, as he has eclipsed 100 receiving yards in a game four times and has caught four touchdown passes. All four of his touchdown catches have come in the last two games. He caught one against the 49ers two weeks ago, and three against the Chargers last Thursday night.