49ers trade for Broncos receiver Sanders
SANTA CLARA — Emmanuel Sanders, to the rescue? The San Francisco 49ers (6-0) obviously don’t need a savior but they did need to bolster their wide receiver corps, and they’ve done so via a Tuesday trade with the Denver Broncos.
It’s apparently costing the 49ers plenty of 2020 draft capital — third- and fourth-round picks — to obtain the 32-year-old wide receiver as well as a fifth-round draft pick, Denver’s 9News first reported.
The 49ers and Broncos have yet to confirm the deal, which likely is contingent upon Sanders passing a physical examination.
Sanders, a 10th-year veteran, is less than a year removed from an Achilles tear, but, two months ago, the 49ers saw firsthand how well he’s recovered as he made athletic catches against them in August’s joint practices in Denver.
Sanders, as he left the Broncos facility, told CBS Denver:
“I’m looking forward to coming out to San Fran, showcasing my talent, meet the guys, hopefully add my explosiveness and capabilities in their system.”
The 49ers (6-0) have won with defense and a run-oriented approach, while they’ve totaled an NFL-low 49 catches from their wide receivers and otherwise have relied on tight end George Kittle (34 catches, 376 yards, 1 TD).
Sanders (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) comes with a No. 1-receiver pedigree,
even if it’s only on a rental basis for 10 games plus his fifth career playoff run.
Sanders’ style has long been admired by 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, who raved about him to Denver reporters on a conference call before last December’s game.
“Emmanuel, to me, has been one of the most underrated receivers in the league his entire career,” Shanahan said then. “He’s been a No. 1 receiver since he’s been in Denver.
“... Emmanuel is the man. He’s always been the man. He is extremely quick, he knows how to separate, he can beat man coverage
and he’s also fearless. He’s aggressive with the ball. He doesn’t mind going there and blocking. He doesn’t mind going over the middle. And he’s one of the tougher challenges in the league.”
Sanders had 30 receptions for 367 yards and two touchdowns this year for the Broncos, whose scheme should draw some parallels to the 49ers’ considering their offensive coordinator is Rich Scangarello, the 49ers’ 201718 quarterbacks coach.
“Just talking to Rich, he was telling me it’s the same offense, different concepts, but I’ll be able to pick it up easy,” Sanders
Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have been active in every avenue to upgrade the 49ers since inheriting a 2-14 club. They’ve overhauled the roster through the draft but also with big trades such as this one, a 2017 deal for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the March move for pass rusher Dee Ford.
The 49ers spent their secondround picks in the past two drafts on wide receivers — Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel — as well as a third-rounder this year on Jalen Hurd, who’s yet to debut and is on injured reserve, as is 2017 fifth-round find Trent Taylor.
Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders is on his way to San Francisco after a trade with the 49ers sent draft picks to Denver.