49ers news: Kyle Shanahan shares past long distance appreciation for WR Emmanuel Sanders
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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan shares past long distance appreciation for WR Emmanuel Sanders

Kyle Shanahan

The San Francisco 49ers are happy with their acquisition of star wideout Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos. His presence should help the team compete and make a push for the top NFC postseason seed.

However, the trade wasn’t decided on a whim. As it turns out, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has long had an interest in getting the running back to his team. He revealed that he’s long admired what Sanders offers as a playmaker.

Per ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio:

“Emmanuel’s been a guy I know I’ve personally wanted since probably the last eight years, since he became a free agent at Pittsburgh,” Shanahan said. “Huge fan of him coming out of the draft and everything he’s done since. We were looking into all possibilities, we didn’t know if any of them would go through. . . . I have felt less urgency than we have in year’s past. I feel good about our group, but we do have a better team right now and we were able to make it better [Tuesday] and pumped he’s here.”

Sanders’ talent makes it easy to understand why the team decided to pull the trigger on the trade. He’s a solid receiving option who has gotten at least 500 passing yards since his 2012 campaign. Sanders also has one of the safer pair of hands in the NFL with a 68% catching percentage after seven games with the Denver Broncos.

However, the question lies as to whether the man will renew his contract with the 49ers. Sanders is an unrestricted free agent next year, and the 49ers may have to fight tooth and nail to keep his services.

They have a good chance of keeping him if they make a deep playoff run and offer him a good contract. San Francisco can definitely aim for the top of the conference with Sanders on their team, and Shanahan will be willing to shell out money just to tie him down to the team.