About six hours before the deadline to match the New England Patriots' offer to Emmanuel Sanders, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done just that.
The team on Sunday matched the one-year, $2.5 million offer sheet for the restricted free-agent wide receiver, Sanders' agent, Jordan Woy, told USA TODAY Sports in an email.
The Steelers, who later confirmed the move, retained Sanders rather than take the Patriots' third-round pick as compensation.
This is good news for QB Ben Roethlisberger, who nearly lost three of his top four receiving options this offseason. Mike Wallace is in Miami and Heath Miller (ACL) is iffy for Week 1. Sanders will be a sleeper as the Steelers' WR2 and is likely to start in Wallace's spot. In 2012, he caught 10 passes for 187 yards during a three-game midseason stretch with Brown sidelined, so he's a threat to crack the 1,000-yard mark with Wallace gone. In New England, this is good news for Donald Jones, who could start for the Patriots.