Now Sanders has a chance to reward his team's faith. He began organized team activities last week working in Mike Wallace's old spot on the outside. Entering his fourth NFL season, Sanders is about to receive his first shot as a starting wide receiver.
Top 100 Players of 2013
As Wallace proved, large paydays await wide receivers who prove themselves to be playmakers. Sanders' agent, Jordan Woy, said his client likely will test next year's free-agent market unless the Steelers offer a "very good deal." Given the Steelers' history, a big season actually could be Sanders' ticket out the door.
But let's not assume Sanders will go off in 2013. He has 94 career receptions in three seasons and has found the end zone just five times in 40 games. His production should climb with more opportunities, but the Steelers are taking a leap of faith here.