Among Emmanuel Sanders' reasons for signing with Saints? His grandmother loves Drew Brees and Sean Payton


Emmanuel Sanders’ grandmother knows her football.

Sanders was a free agent looking around at teams and there were plenty of suitors. He came back strong last season after tearing his Achilles tendon in 2018, and ended up in a Super Bowl after a midseason trade between the Broncos and 49ers. The New Orleans Saints persuaded him to sign with them for $16 million over two seasons.

There are countless reasons a player picks a team when he has options, and that was the case with Sanders too. But among the reasons? His grandma liked the fit in the Saints’ offense.

Emmanuel Sanders’ grandmother preferred Saints

Sanders shared one of the cooler stories you’ll hear in regards to a player choosing a team in free agency.

"One of the first people I talked to was my grandmother. She called me and my aunt was on the phone, it was free agency, which had started. She said, ‘We're praying you go to New Orleans,’” Sanders said in a conference call. “The Texans had an opportunity, the Cowboys maybe, but she loves that team [Saints].

“She loves Drew Brees, she loves Sean Payton, she loves the offense and she loves to watch them play. When I called her and told her she was so excited, not only that but she was excited because of that they can drive to the game if they want.”

Sanders is originally from Bellville, Texas, and said he had 15 family members drive to the 49ers’ game against the Saints last season.

And Sanders’ grandma isn’t wrong: It’s a great offense for him to land with.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Saints. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Saints. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Sanders liked fit with Saints

Sanders listed plenty of reasons for choosing New Orleans. He likes the atmosphere in the Superdome. He thought the Saints gave him a good chance to win another Super Bowl. And he teams up with one of the best coach-quarterback combinations in the NFL.

“To play with Drew Brees, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. How could I pass up that opportunity and to play in a Sean Payton system?” Sanders said.

Any receiver should see a great opportunity with the Saints. Michael Thomas will get a ton of double-team attention, opening things up. Brees is a fantastic quarterback and the Saints always have a potent offense.

And by signing with New Orleans, Sanders made his grandmother happy, too.