The Patriots traded a second-rounder pick to Atlanta for receiver Mohamed Sanu in advance of last year’s deadline in the hopes that he could spark the club’s sagging vertical game. That did not happen, as Sanu suffered a high ankle sprain during a punt return in his third game with New England, and he was not the same after that (just one game prior, he tallied 10 catches for 81 yards and a TD in a loss to Baltimore).
Unfortunately, Sanu will require surgery on his ankle, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The hope was that the injury would heal on its own, but instead Sanu will have to go under the knife. There is not yet a timetable for his recovery, though it seems fair to expect that he will be at full strength in time for training camp.
Regardless of who plays quarterback for the Pats next year, they are widely expected to add a couple of pass catchers in free agency and/or the draft. But a healthy Sanu, along with a year of growth from 2019 first-rounder N’Keal Harry, would go a long way towards improving the club’s overall offensive output.
Sanu is under contract through 2020 and is due a $6.5MM salary this season, though the Pats could clear that entire figure off its books by cutting him. However, $6.5MM seems like a reasonable figure given Sanu’s potential production, and the team would hate to have given up a second-rounder without much of a return on its investment.
In 2018, Sanu turned in perhaps the best performance of his career, catching 66 passes for 838 yards and four TDs with the Falcons. So if he’s healthy, he’s still capable of being a key contributor.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.