Broncos’ John Elway Explains Emmanuel Sanders’ Trade To 49ers For Two 2020 Picks

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The Denver Broncos this week traded Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for a third and fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

John Elway — the president of team operations for the Denver Broncos — on Tuesday addressed his decision to trade Sanders, which came after a five-catch, 60-yard performance on Sunday.

“I think eventually with what happened after the Tennessee game [a 16-0 victory] and where we were and with the value we were getting for him, we decided it was the best thing for our team to trade Emmanuel,” Elway said to a news conference.

In the game against the Titans Elway is referencing, Sanders had one catches on three targets, which netted zero yards for the team. Two weeks before that, he had five catches for 104 yards in a two-point loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

While inconsistent this season, Sanders is a solid receiver and has been much greater in the past. He will help a 49ers team greatly down the stretch.

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Elway said that it was Sanders who requested the trade.

“When we looked at it, Emmanuel had issues and we had issues,” Elway said. “That is why it was a good time for us to go different directions — for Emmanuel to go in a different direction and for us to go in a different direction. With that being said, we were able to get the value that we thought was fair. That is why we decided to make the deal.”

Sanders was in the middle of his sixth season with the Broncos before the trade. He had 404 receptions for 5,361 yards and 28 touchdowns in 78 games for Denver. He had started 77 of the 78 games.

It was an overall amicable breakup, as he told CBS Denver he was happy for his time in Denver.

“It’s hard anytime you break up or leave a place,” he said. “It’s tough. We definitely had a great run in Denver, had a lot of great times but all good things come to an end. Looking forward to getting out to San Fran and showcasing my talent.”