Here’s What Would Have Happened If The Packers Had Emmanuel Sanders

Every year, Packers fans seem to get wide receiver fever.

They aren’t alone, it’s a common ailment – wide receiver is the most over-valued position in the game.

Last year, everyone clamored for a veteran receiver and Emmanuel Sanders was the hottest of choices.

The 49ers traded away 3rd and 4th round picks to get Emmanuel Sanders and a 5th.

So, to get a 32 year old wide receiver, the 9ers gave away a 3rd round pick in the deepest wide receiver draft ever, downgraded their 4th to a 5th, and paid nearly 6 million dollars.

And what did they get in return?

10 games

502 yards

3 touchdowns

In 3 playoff games, he had 71 yards and 0 TDs.

They paid a bunch of money, cratered their draft capital, and got very little production.

Then this year he left in free agency.

And since the 49ers have been signing so many guys, they won’t even get a compensatory pick.

What a total buffoonish move.

Terrible value. Terrible GM-ing.

But what if he went to the Packers?

Well, the Packers went 8-2 in the final 10 games of the season and earned a playoff bye.

Their losses came on brutal west coast road trips and Emmanuel Sanders wasn’t going to be the difference.

In the playoffs, the Packers let the 49ers run for almost three hundred yards and lost by 3 scores.

Emmanual Sanders wasn’t going to fix that, either.

So, the Packers likely would have had the exact same record and results if they’d acquired Emmanuel Sanders.

However, there would be some key differences:

  • The Packers would have $6M less in cap space right now (since space rolls over)
  • The Packers wouldn’t have a 3rd round draft choice in the deepest draft ever for receivers
  • The Packers’s 4th round pick would drop to the 5th round

The upside?


Trading for Emmanuel Sanders was a bad idea to begin with. The wide receiver market was way overheated and wide receivers don’t win titles.

In hindsight, the move was every bit as terrible as I said it would be.

Wide receivers aren’t what puts teams over the top. The Packers have a great one and an ascending one, along with a stable of young role players, a low-risk vet, a promising young tight end, a solid veteran tight end, great receiving backs, and a wide-receiver-rich draft in front of them.

Plus, Matt LaFleur’s offense doesn’t require a bunch of stud receivers (which he proved last year).

Let’s try to remember this as we navigate the off-season.


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