John Elway says Emmanuel Sanders trade is best for Denver Broncos

John Elway, the Denver Broncos’ president of team operations, addressed his decision to trade wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Tuesday after he had a five-catch, 60-receiving yard game.

The Broncos traded Sanders and a fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for a third- and a fourth-round pick, according to KUSA-TV. The 49ers later confirmed the trade.

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“I think eventually with what happened after the Tennessee game [a 16-0 victory] and where we were and with the value we were getting for him, we decided it was the best thing for our team to trade Emmanuel,” Elway said at a news conference without clarifying.

Sanders had one catch on three targets for zero yards. He left in the second half with a knee injury. Two weeks before the Titans game, he had five catches for 104 yards in a two-point loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the San Francisco 49ers.

Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. (Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports)

Elway said that it was Sanders who requested the trade.

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“When we looked at it, Emmanuel had issues and we had issues,” Elway said. “That is why it was a good time for us to go different directions — for Emmanuel to go in a different direction and for us to go in a different direction. With that being said, we were able to get the value that we thought was fair. That is why we decided to make the deal.”

Sanders was in the middle of his sixth season with the Broncos before the trade. He had 404 receptions for 5,361 yards and 28 touchdowns in 78 games for Denver. He had started 77 of the 78 games.

He told CBS Denver said he was happy with his time in Denver.

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“It’s hard anytime you break up or leave a place,” he said. “It’s tough. We definitely had a great run in Denver, had a lot of great times but all good things come to an end. Looking forward to getting out to San Fran and showcasing my talent.”