Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss predicts WR Mohamed Sanu won’t make the final roster.
Remember when the Patriots believed they’d upgraded their depleted wide receiving corps by trading for Mohamed Sanu in exchange for a 2020 second-round pick at last year’s deadline? Instead of Emmanuel Sanders, who ended up in the Super Bowl? Yeah, you remember.
Well, the deal shortly proved to be a disaster for the Patriots, as the 31-year-old managed just 26 receptions (on 47 targets) for 207 yards. He never really established a rapport with Tom Brady, and a bum ankle really limited him down the final stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Following that dreadful showing, it really seemed like Sanu and his $6.5 million salary were a possible bet to get released this offseason, but the team kept him around for the virtual program during quarantine and into training camp as he began to establish a rapport with both Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham. Things were looking up!
As it turns out, the Rutgers product has been one of New England’s worst performers at camp, running sluggish routes and dropping routine passes on a seemingly regular basis. This must’ve led to veteran Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss of ESPN to believe that Sanu will be one of the many victims when rosters are trimmed to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Based on what he’s seen through the first couple weeks of camp, Reiss predicts the Patriots will roll with a WR group of Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, Gunner Olszewski and Devin Ross.
“This is where things get interesting, as the question can be asked,” wrote Reiss, ‘Who consistently creates separation?’ It looks like the Patriots need some help here, and while Olszewski and Ross have flashed at times, they’ve also been inconsistent with drops. Mohamed Sanu might be hard-pressed to make the roster, especially considering his $6.5 million salary.”
It seems like Sanu’s fate, at least according to Reiss, comes down to this inability to create separation from opposing cornerbacks. We presumed him getting surgery on his ankle this offseason would have benefited his route running, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
You could argue that the Patriots need a receiver with the former Falcons star’s experience, as Edelman is really the only true veteran of the group besides him, but he simply hasn’t performed like a player who’s deserving of a roster spot.
Sanu is just one season removed from his most productive season in the NFL, when he totaled 66 receptions for 838 yards and four touchdowns with the Atlanta Falcons. However, he’s looked like a shell of that player since coming over to New England last October, and his spot on the 2020 roster could be the price he must pay. You can’t say he didn’t get a fair shot this year to make up for ’19.
The Pats, often ruthless, simply might not care.