UPDATE: According to reports, New England's one-year deal with Sanders is worth $2.5 million. The Steelers have five days to match.
The Patriots flirted with Emmanuel Sanders about a month ago. Now they're on the verge of acquiring him.
The team signed the restricted free agent wide receiver to an offer sheet for a one-year deal.
The Steelers now have until Monday to match the offer. If they choose not to match and let Sanders become the newest Patriots wideout, New England would then send its third-round draft choice (91st overall) to Pittsburgh.
If the Patriots do land Sanders, they would be left with four selections in the upcoming draft (picks 29, 59, 226, 235).
Sanders, 26, is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds and has played both in the slot and on the outside for the Steelers. In his three-year career, he has made 94 receptions for 1,290 yards and five touchdowns. He started seven games last season and set career highs with 44 catches and 626 yards.
He also has some experience as a returner. He returned nine punts last season for 93 yards. As a rookie in 2010, he returned 25 kicks for 628 yards, an average of 25.1 yards per return.
Sanders paid New England a visit in mid-March, and if he does officially become a member of the Patriots in five days he will join Danny Amendola and Donald Jones as part of Tom Brady's revamped receiving corps.
CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora was the first to report that Sanders had signed the Patriots' offer sheet.