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Patriots reportedly still considering options regarding Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders

03.16.13 at 7:43 am ET

There are conflicting reports about whether the Patriots have made an offer to Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

According to a story on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website posted just after midnight, the Patriots did present an offer to the restricted free agent. However, no major media outlets verified that information, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted early Saturday morning that the Patriots were “still mulling whether to sign” Sanders.

If the Patriots sign Sanders and the Steelers — who are having salary cap issues — fail to match the offer within seven days, New England would get Sanders but lose a third-round pick in next month’s draft.

The Patriots, known for loading up on draft picks, previously traded away their picks in the fourth round (Aqib Talib), fifth round (Albert Haynesworth) and sixth round (Chad Ochocinco). They have five picks remaining (one each in Rounds 1, 2 and 3, and two in Round 7).

Sanders, due to make $1.3 million if he plays in Pittsburgh in 2013, reportedly visited with Patriots brass Friday.

Sanders, who turns 26 Sunday, caught 44 passes for 626 yards and one touchdown in 2012, starting seven games. In his three-year career, Sanders has 94 receptions for 1,290 yards and five TDs. A third-round pick in 2010 out of SMU, he was expected to start in 2013 for Pittsburgh, which already lost free agent receiver Mike Wallace to the Dolphins this week.

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