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Emmanuel Sanders NFL

(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Sanders retires after 12 NFL seasons

Emmanuel Sanders NFL
Sanders won one Super Bowl and made two Pro Bowls in his 12-year career. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Emmanuel Sanders retires after 12 NFL seasons

Emmanuel Sanders, a veteran wide receiver who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints, has officially retired after 12 seasons in the NFL, he announced Wednesday.

He also announced that he will retire a Bronco.

“I’ve decided to retire from the National Football League,” Sanders stated via his Instagram page. “I had one hell of a ride. Three Super Bowl appearances, multiple Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl champion. I gave the game everything I had and it treated me well which is why I’m happy with my decision.

“To everyone who supported me throughout my career.. thank you! To every organization that I played for.. thank you! To all my teammates and coaches.. thank you! To my family and friends… thank you! I came a long way from the small town of Bellville, Texas. I was just a kid chasing after a dream and I caught it! God is the greatest!”

Sanders, 38, was drafted in the third round (No. 82 overall) by the Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft, spending the next four seasons there.

Over the course of his 12-year career, he caught passes from Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Josh Allen for the better part of his career, hauling in 704 career receptions, 9,425 yards and 51 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound target won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2015 and made two Pro Bowls in 2014 and 2016.

The former of Sanders’ pair of Pro Bowl appearances came in his first year in Denver, playing alongside Manning who was coming off back-to-back MVPs. Sanders caught 101 receptions — the only year of his career with triple-digit catches — for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns, all of which were career-bests.

The wideout posted 65-plus receptions in five of six seasons from 2013-19 — with the only season he didn’t do being in 2017 (47). Over that span, he totaled 507 catches, 6,603 yards and 37 touchdowns — equating to approximately 72 catches, 943 yards and five touchdowns per season, on average.

Sanders was viewed as still a productive target for the Saints and Bills in each of his final two seasons. With New Orleans in 2020, he added 61 catches for 726 yards and five scores, while conjuring together 42 receptions for 626 yards and four additional touchdowns in 14 games with Buffalo a year ago.

Cheers on a good career, Emmanuel!

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