Top Tennessee Titans trade targets: AFC West
By Will Lomas
Denver Broncos: Emmanuel Sanders WR
Sanders has been one of my favorite players for a long time. No one talks about him, but as a catch and run WR, there are few WRs who I see win as consistently as he has over the last four or five years.
People will remember him from his peak with Denver when he replaced Eric Decker and helped hold together a passing offense with a fading Peyton Manning as they won a title for the Broncos.
However, he posted a 1,000 yard season the year after Manning retired with Trevor Siemian at the helm. That is a pretty remarkable accomplishment, even the Broncos knew they needed an upgrade at QB after that year, though they didn’t find one.
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Why would he be available?
The Broncos are in a bad place right now. They have a stopgap at QB in Case Keenum, but outside of that they really don’t have many above average pieces. They have a decent young tackle in Garrett Bolles and Demaryius Thomas and that is about it.
This offense isn’t going to be winning them games this year and in the meantime they need to be figuring out how to get rookie WR Courtland Sutton some reps. This would kill two birds with one stone.
CBS had an article about this back in February and where they talked about how the rumors were that he would be on the trade block.
What would he bring to the Titans?
Tennessee has a weird recent history with older receivers. Sanders (who turned 31 in March) would join Eric Decker and Andre Johnson as talented WRs who have joined the Titans after their 30th birthday in the Robinson era.
Now, it is easy to call those guys busts because they just weren’t huge impact guys and they each showed their age at times. Still, it is easy to forget that Andre Johnson caught a game winner vs Detroit and should have had the game winner vs Oakland if not for some bad officiating.
Eric Decker led the Titans in receiving on a crucial Monday night game against the Indianapolis Colts and he helped end one of the ugliest losing streaks in the NFL. On top of that, it was Decker that caught the game-winner against Kansas City that broke the other ugly streak attached to the Titans.
Neither was a perfect player and both had their ups and downs, but both did end up coming up big in big spots at least occasionally.
On top of that, I think there is a much more natural transition for Sanders. The Titans need a shifty WR who can win from the slot and who can be a reliable target on 3rd down. While I want to believe in Tajae Sharpe and Taywan Taylor taking big steps forward, the safe bet of the three is Sanders.
In 2016 (his last healthy season) he had 1,032 yards and 5 TDs, if he could get 800 and 4 TDs from the slot in this new offense he would be well worth the cap hit for the trade. Would it be terrible to part with a Day 3 pick for Sanders?