Written by: Joe Carlino @joecarlino14
At 1-6, the Atlanta Falcons haven’t been performing up to the expectations many individuals were looking at them to do. Whether it be a combination of defensive breakdowns, offensive mental errors, or special teams, the squad has limped (quite literally) into their Week Eight matchup against the Seahawks barely clinging to life.
However, the team now goes into this contest without one of their key players from the last three seasons.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Falcons have traded wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, known to Falcons fans as “Agent12”, to the New England Patriots for a second-round pick. The move undoubtedly comes as a method for the Falcons to relieve some of their impending salary cap problems, as the team would be accounting 75.6% of their 2020 cap to just their top-10 paid players.
Coming to Atlanta in 2016 as a free agent from the Cincinnati Bengals, Sanu made a big impact in his first game as a Falcon, catching his first pass from Matt Ryan for a 59-yard gain in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since then, Sanu has made a name for himself as a reliable third-down target, rarely dropping any passes thrown his way and living up to his college nickname “Man Hands”.
In 2017, he caught a career-high 67 passes and five touchdowns, and in 2018, he finished his first full season as an NFL player (16/16 games played) and caught a career-high 838 receiving yards.
Sanu also flourished as a passer in Atlanta, going 2/3 for 56 yards and two TDs, one to Matt Ryan and another to Julio Jones, also against the Bucs. His passer rating still stands as the greatest of any player in NFL history, quarterback or not (158.3).
For the Patriots, a team that arguably never ceases to amaze year in and year out, Tom Brady now obtains another target to assist with the likes of Philip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, and Josh Gordon. As the team continues to dominate towards arguably another Super Bowl appearance, Sanu undoubtedly bolsters this core while also having a much higher chance of obtaining a championship ring in his already impressive career.
From everyone that represents the Falcons proudly, we’d like to extend a big THANK YOU and all the gratitude in the world for what you’ve brought to our team in your 3 ½ years with our organization. All the best in New England sir, and may our paths cross again in the future.
Final Stat Totals for Mohamed Sanu in Atlanta:
2016: 59 receptions, 653 yards, 4 TDs
2017: 67 receptions, 703 yards, 5 TDs; 1/1 passing, 51 yards, TD
2018: 66 receptions, 838 yards, 4 TDs; 1 / 2 passing, 5 yards, TD
2019 (seven games): 33 receptions, 313 yards, 1 TD