Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders revealed how close he was to signing with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
Sanders had been a staple in Denver for quite some time. A leftover from the last Broncos Super Bowl team, Sanders had a chance to connect the dots by retiring with his former team.
The former Steeler was brought in as a weapon for then-Denver QB Peyton Manning. He would go on to leave Denver after the 2019 season, but returned on Wednesday to retire with the team after a couple of successful campaigns with the Saints and Bills.
Rather than signing with John Elway and Co., Sanders nearly became a Chief thanks to Andy Reid. He told the story on Wednesday.
“I wanted to sign three years [in Kansas City], and they wanted me to sign four,” Sanders said, per ESPN. “… I get the call, in the facility, that I can go to Denver … and I remember telling [the Chiefs] I kind of want to go back to my hotel and figure out the situation. … I was just trying to get out there so I could celebrate that I’m about to go play with Peyton.”
Broncos last pitch to Emmanuel Sanders worked, stifling Chiefs
At the time he signed with the Broncos, Sanders was in his prime, just a 27-year-old receiver coming off a 740-yard season with the Steelers. He was never going to be Ben Roethlisberger’s No. 1 target with Antonio Brown in town, and he knew that. So, he went elsewhere, betting on himself instead.
That decision has paid dividends for Sanders. He made two Pro Bowls in Denver, which is why he chose to retire a Bronco despite playing for five different NFL teams.
“I’m proud to stand up here and tell you … that I chased down this dream and it was a hell of a ride,” Sanders said.
For Sanders, he sure is glad he took Elway up on his offer, rather than suiting up for the Chiefs instead. It changed the course of his career and life.