The Pittsburgh Steelers were forced to increase Emmanuel Sanders' salary from $1.3 million to $2.5 million after matching the New England Patriots' offer sheet. If the Steelers want to hang on to Sanders beyond 2013, it's going to cost them a lot more.
Agent Jordan Woy told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that "several teams" made offers to Sanders in restricted free agency.
The other teams must not have been offering as much money as the Patriots, or Sanders would have chosen their offer sheet instead. The interest still has Sanders and Woy confident that there will be multiple bidders if they reach unrestricted free agency in 2014.
While Sanders is "open" to a long-term deal with the Steelers, Woy made it clear that it would have to come with a hefty raise.
"We are also open to him playing the year out," Woy said. "It would have to be a very good deal for us to sign a multi-year agreement."
The Steelers lost $1.2 million, turned down a third-round draft pick and ultimately might get nothing in return if Sanders walks next offseason. It was a costly mistake not to initially tender Sanders at the second-round level.
Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.