Twelve-year NFL wideout Emmanuel Sanders announced his official retirement on Wednesday. Playing his way to becoming a fan-favorite in Pittsburgh and Denver, Sanders firmly established himself as a valuable addition to any receiving room in the NFL.
The underrated Sanders has been teasing his retirement since early 2022: ready to cap his productive run after 12 years, two Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl 50 win.
Sanders shared his retirement news with the Denver Broncos' media.
"To everyone who supported me throughout my career.. thank you! To every organization that I played for .. thank you! To all my teammates and coaches.. thank you," Sanders said.
"To my family and friends … thank you! I came a long way from the small town of Bellville, Texas. I was just a kid chasing after a dream and I caught it! God is the greatest!"
The newly retired Sanders told the Broncos that he went back to watch his introductory press conference when he joined Denver in 2014.
"I went back and watched the video of my interview, my press conference, when I was with the Broncos," Sanders said.
"And I said that this place in Denver, Colorado, with the Denver Broncos, was the place that I can hoist the Lombardi Trophy my son, and this is wide receiver heaven. And when I got here, the heavens opened up the gate, and we started throwing the ball all over the field.
"I had the opportunity to go to the Pro Bowl. … It was just a great ride. The best years of my career, by far."
Sanders was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.
During an interview on The Herd in February, Sanders explained his leaning on a potential retirement, approaching the new NFL season at age 35.
"I’ve got my son; he’s getting older,” Sanders shared with Colin Cowherd. "I’ve got a daughter getting older. And for the past three years, been traveling and moving from team to team, trying to win a Super Bowl.
"… After the versus the Chiefs, you know, Josh Allen was like, `hey, let’s run it back.’ And I was like, `man, give me some time to reflect and see how I feel."