Football is a business, and the minute a player in the NFL has to reminded of that reality, they are usually in store for a shock, and perhaps some hurt feelings.
Don’t count former New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu as a player who is naive of the sharp edges of football business that can sometimes cut someone who is unaware of their presence.
Mohamed Sanu Says He Was Asked to Take a Pay Cut By the Patriots
Sanu appeared on an Odds Shark podcast and he divulged the Patriots asked him to take a pay cut prior to releasing him ahead of the 2020 season.
There is a ton to consider after knowing this information when looking back on the Patriots’ 2020 season and ahead to this upcoming year.
What Would the Patriots’ Passing Game Have Looked Like With Sanu?
The Patriots spent a boatload of cash to improve their offense in the offseason. Bill Belichick signed Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry to be weapons in the passing game. That’s not to mention the money spent to fortify the offensive line.
Because the Patriots had arguably the worst offensive weapons in the NFL in 2020. Jakobi Meyers worked hard to become a better-than-average receiver in the NFL, but besides him, the Patriots were almost completely devoid of difference makers in the passing game.
Let’s not get it twisted; It’s been a few years since Sanu would be called a difference maker. After being released by the Patriots, the 31-year-old played for both the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers in 2020.
Over 10 games and 4 starts, Sanu made 17 receptions for 187 yards on 24 targets with one TD reception. Those aren’t stunning numbers. However, Sanu is a veteran and experienced receiver who had been building a rapport with Cam Newton during the offseason.
At 6’2″ 215 pounds, Sanu is also a big target, which is a profile that has worked out well with Newton throughout his career. All this begs the question, wouldn’t the Patriots’ offense had been better off with Sanu than it was without him?
I mean, do we really think Sanu wouldn’t have been more productive than N’Keal Harry and Gunner Olszewski?
That said, Sanu was not the missing piece to reaching contention or perhaps even the postseason. However, it does make you wonder why he wasn’t worth keeping on the roster at all.
From the looks of the Patriots’ depth chart, the passing game should be vastly improved. New England will probably play with 2 tight ends a lot, which means 2 wide receivers and a running back, or perhaps some 2 tight end and 2-receiver looks with just Newton in the backfield.
In any case, the weapons are superior to what New England had in 2020. Also, we cannot discount Newton’s improvement and increased level of comfort now that he will be in his second season with the Patriots’ offense.