Former Broncos legend Emmanuel Sanders has retired

Oct 18, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 18, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (10) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Former Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders just recently announced his retirement from the NFL after a successful career.  A crucial member of the Denver Broncos’ success in the mid-2010s, Sanders leaves the NFL after a career that began in 2010 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Emmanuel Sanders was drafted in the third round back in 2010, won a Super Bowl in his rookie season, and spent the first four years of his career with the Steelers.  He then signed with the Denver Broncos before the 2014 season, enjoying three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, topped by a 1,404 and nine touchdown campaign in 2014.

Sanders was a huge culture setter in Denver, playing with an intense fire and passion.  He could always be counted on for making big plays when it mattered most and formed quite the duo with Demaryius Thomas.

Sanders was traded from the Denver Broncos in 2019 to the San Francisco 49ers, where he helped propel them to the Super Bowl.  He then signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2020, managed to accumulate 726 receiving yards, and followed that up with 626 yards and four touchdowns with the Buffalo Bills in 2021.

Even into his 30s, Sanders proved to be an incredibly reliable receiver.  He actually set a career-high in catch percentage in 2020 with the Saints.  Sanders announced his retirement on his Instagram on Wednesday morning.

He finished his successful 12-year career with 704 receptions, 9,245 yards, and 51 touchdowns.  He made two Pro Bowls and won the Super Bowl in 2015 with the Denver Broncos.  It’s clear that Emmanuel Sanders could still be effective as a receiver, as he had 3,644 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns from his age-30 season through 2021.

A speedster with excellent athleticism and ball skills, Sanders was never considered elite but was always very good.  His career receiving yard total ranks 62nd in NFL history, which is an excellent ranking when you think about how many receivers there have been in the league.

Congratulations on retirement and a great NFL career, Emmanuel Sanders!