Last year, the Falcons traded Mohamed Sanu away ahead of the NFL’s traded deadline, picking up a 2nd round pick from the New England Patriots. As much as Sanu is loved in Atlanta—and he is very loved—I think most fans recognized that a 2nd rounder was a heck of a haul for a 30-year-old receiver who had 33 receptions in 7 games, especially because the team had Russell Gage waiting in the wings.
After the trade, Gage would have 45 receptions for about 400 yards and a touchdown, while Sanu would have 26 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown for the Patriots. That was not the return New England expected, to say the least, and Sanu struggled enough this summer that the team is reportedly going to cut him. It’s one of that team’s worst trades in recent memory, while the Falcons ended up swapping their 2nd for Hayden Hurst and a pick that later became rookie safety Jaylinn Hawkins.
Source: The #Patriots are releasing veteran WR Mohamed Sanu. A surprise.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
It goes without saying that it’s funny as hell that the Falcons fleeced the Patriots here, but you have to feel for Sanu, a consummate hard worker and quality teammate who just didn’t work out in New England. Atlanta was fortunate enough to have selected and groomed Gage to take over, and he did so quite capably.
The obvious question for many Falcons fans now is whether Sanu will return to Atlanta. We answer that with a resounding maybe. The Falcons have a fine wide receiver depth chart as is, with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Russell Gage forming a quality top three and Laquon Treadwell, Olamiade Zaccheaus, and perhaps rookie Chris Rowland rounding out the group. If Sanu were to return, he’d likely be bumping Treadwell off the roster, and Treadwell has more of the track record on special teams you’d expect from a 4th or 5th receiver.
I wouldn’t rule out a return, is what I’m getting at, and Sanu would certainly be welcomed back with open arms. Regardless, I hope his next landing spot is a good fit for him, and that he fares better there than he did in New England.