Following his season-ending Achilles injury Wednesday, Emmanuel Sanders promised on Twitter that he would be “back next year” with a bigger chip on his shoulder. But if that’s in a Denver Broncos uniform remains to be seen, says Mark Schlereth.
Between his contract situation and the talented youth behind him on the depth chart, Sanders may have seen his last days with the Broncos, said the “Schlereth and Evans” co-host on Thursday.
“I feel like with the emergence of the young players that we’re going to see, I feel like this is probably it for Emmanuel Sanders,” Schlereth said. “He’ll be playing in some other uniform next year.”
Schlereth said whether Sanders is back likely depends on if he’s willing to renegotiate his contract. The Pro Bowl wide receiver heads into his final year of his three-year, $33 million deal next season, wherein he’s set to earn a base salary of $10.25 million, per Spotrac.com.
“I probably feel like he’s not going to be willing to do that,” Schlereth said of Sanders renegotiating his deal. “And this is why we always say in the NFL, the player, get your money. Get your money because it’s not if it’s when. You’re going to get hurt.”
Schlereth’s co-host, Mike Evans, said on Thursday that Sanders injury might hurt in the short term but it only helps expedite the process of the youth movement of the Broncos offense.
“The day that the draft went down and Courtland Sutton was drafted, you and I were on. We immediately said, well there’s your Demaryius Thomas replacement,” Evans said. “And when DaeSean Hamilton was drafted, we immediately said, well, there’s your Emmanuel Sanders replacement.
“So, that moment now is here.”
Evans said the Broncos have been put in a position to “speed up to the big picture.”
“Yes, we’re trying to get the most and enjoy what they’re trying to do this year, but I think you have to do it with the big picture in mind,” Evans said. “And the big picture is they made a conscious decision in this draft to get younger on offense.
“So, if that was the plan moving forward, I see no problem with having that plan put in place now.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.