The Denver Broncos are trading wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers.
The trade has not been officially announced but Sanders confirmed as he was leaving the Broncos’ facility that he was traded to San Francisco.
San Francisco is sending third- and fourth-round 2020 draft picks to Denver, who is also including a 2020 fifth-round pick with Sanders in the deal, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“Obviously it’s hard any time you break up,” Sanders told KCNC-TV as he left the Broncos’ facility as the team’s practice began. ” … We had a great run out here in Denver, lot of great teams.”
Sanders added he was ready to “get out to San Fran and showcase my talents.”
Sanders, 32, has 30 catches for 367 yards and two touchdowns in seven games this season, his sixth with the Broncos (2-5).
The two-time Pro Bowler suffered a torn left Achilles in practice last December and also had surgery on his right ankle in January, but he made a remarkable recovery and was a full participant in training camp workouts by the middle of August.
He joins a 49ers receiving corps that includes current starters Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin.
Sanders has 7,391 receiving yards and 39 touchdown catches in 134 career games.
Sanders joined the Broncos in their 2014 free-agency binge that also included linebacker DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward. However, he had grown increasingly frustrated with the Broncos’ losing ways over the last three seasons as well as his decreasing targets this season, a long-drop from when he referred to the Peyton Manning-quarterback offense as “wide receiver heaven.”
Sanders had 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but dropped to 555 yards in 2017 due to an ankle injury and finished with 71 catches for 868 yards last when he suffered a torn Achilles in December.
Sanders had just one reception in two of the Broncos’ last three games before he finished with five catches for 60 yards in the blowout loss to the Chiefs last Thursday night. Sanders has missed some practice time this season with knee trouble and did not play in the second half of the Broncos’ win over the Tennessee Titans Oct. 13 because he had aggravated the injury.
The Broncos have former 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello calling plays as Denver’s offensive coordinator, so Sanders will work in a similar playbook. Sanders said as he left the Broncos’ complex he had briefly spoken to Scangarello Tuesday after he was told of the trade.
After Thursday night’s loss Sanders was asked what needed to happen for the Broncos’ struggling offense to improve: “Make plays, call better plays, just make plays.”
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.
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