ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — After 12 seasons in the NFL, three Super Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl 50 victory and two Pro Bowl selections, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders has announced his retirement.
For the Broncos, as well as for the four other teams for whom he played, Sanders was a ball of energy, the kind of wideout whose style of play could not be constrained by his physical frame.
He made Pro Bowls, won a championship and put his name into the franchise record books and supplied the team with several of its more memorable moments from the past decade.
But ahead of what would have been a 13th year in the NFL, the venerable veteran decided his energy will be dedicated to family life and other pursuits in life after considering the question for months.
“For me, I feel like it’s the right time for me,” Sanders told DenverBroncos.com. “Twelve years. I’m walking away from the game healthy. I’ve had a great career. I played in a lot of great games. Three Super Bowls. Pro Bowls. I played for some great organizations. And so I just feel like it’s my time. Twelve is good for me. Now I can go and run routes with my son and play basketball with my son, hang out with my kids and enjoy my life.”
Nearly a decade ago, Sanders arrived in Denver in hopes of pushing his career to new heights. A former third-round pick by the Steelers, the SMU product enjoyed a promising start to his career and played in a Super Bowl as a rookie. But following two playoffs-less seasons, Sanders entered free agency and eyed a new home in Denver.
He talked of taking up residence in what he called “wide receiver heaven” by joining forces with quarterback Peyton Manning, and he described a vision of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy alongside his young son.
In doing so, he spoke his dreams into existence.
That first year, Sanders set the table for a tremendous run in Denver with career bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns as he made his first career Pro Bowl alongside Demaryius Thomas, the Thunder to Sanders’ Lightning.
“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 [with] 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.”
The next year, he recorded a second consecutive season with more than 1,000 receiving yards but found greater team success, as Denver marched to Super Bowl 50 and toppled the Panthers to win the Lombardi Trophy. Over the course of that season, Sanders made plenty of key plays — two touchdowns in a Thursday-night thriller against Kansas City, a 75-yard score in a road win against the Browns — but the catches weren’t the moments he’ll remember most.
“One of my favorite times, really, that whole 2015 run was really the confetti with me and D.T.,” Sanders said, recalling when he and Thomas made snow angels in confetti on the field after the AFC Championship victory over New England. “We were just playing. You know D.T. — I’m like, ‘Yo, we’ve got to go play in the confetti!’ I’m the rah-rah guy. D.T. was kind of chill. I’m like, ‘Yo, we’ve got to go play in the confetti.’ And D.T. was like, ‘Man ….’ I was like, ‘Come on!’ And we just went and both dove in the confetti after beating the Patriots, going to the Super Bowl. That is just such a fond memory.
“And then I just remember sitting next to Peyton, and it was his final game. The clock was ticking down and we were about to win the Super Bowl and I remember looking at Peyton and telling him, ‘Just embrace it, man. This is beautiful. This is beautiful. You’re going out on top.’ And then once the clock struck zero, to be able to go and grab my family and celebrate, it was just one of the best years of my life. It’s something that I look back on and I still can’t believe, to this day. Like, to see this ring — at one point in my career, all the hard work, all the passion, everything that I gave to this game, all the blood, sweat and tears, at one point I sat on top of the mountain of this game and was arguably one of the best to do it. I’m extremely proud of that.”
After Manning’s retirement in 2016, Sanders continued to play at a high level and returned to the Pro Bowl. With Trevor Siemian under center, Sanders recorded a third-straight season with more than 1,000 yards and his fourth consecutive year with at least five touchdowns.
By the time Sanders’ time with the Broncos came to an end in 2019, No. 10 had earned the No. 10 spot in the Broncos’ record books in career receiving yards, and he is currently seventh in career receptions. In addition, his 2014 season is the franchise’s sixth-most-productive with 1,404 receiving yards.
After his departure from Denver, he joined the 49ers, Saints and Bills. He tallied a third Super Bowl appearance with San Francisco and made the playoffs at each stop. And while he hoped to win another ring in the final years of his career, he said he has no second thoughts about hanging up his cleats.
“I don’t have the itch,” Sanders said. “And I think I don’t have the itch because I know I gave the game everything that I had to offer. … I gave it my all. Every single rep, every single play. I tried to go 100 percent, as hard as I can. … I gave the game everything that I had, and the game gave it back to me. I’m walking away three Super Bowl appearances, a Super Bowl ring and memories of a lifetime. I’m absolutely blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be able to play this game at the level that I played at.”
While his time playing the game is over, it doesn’t mean he won’t be around it. Sanders said he hopes to get into television, and he already has some clips for his reel from a co-hosting appearance on “Good Morning Football” and guest spots on NFL Network’s “GameDay Morning.”
Whether people see him on TV or elsewhere, though, Sanders said he hopes he’s remembered by the kind of player he was even more than the achievements.
“What I want people to remember, really, is the determination,” Sanders said. “Not only that, but any of the people of the younger generation that’s coming up, [I’d] just sit back and say that they can measure your hands, they can measure your feet, they can measure your arms, they can measure whatever — but they can’t measure your heart. And that was the difference between me and a lot of other players. That I knew what I was willing to do and what I was willing to put on the line and go out there and make plays for my team to go on and win. They could never measure my heart.
“I hope that when people go back and watch the film that they see a guy that’s 170-pound, 5-11 receiver out there going against these big guys — but his heart is as big as ever, his will was as big as ever, and he was always ready to make the play and do whatever it took to win the game because he loved the game of football, and he loved to put on in arenas.”
In looking back at how far he’s come — how he went from an 8-year-old in rural Texas dreaming of an NFL career to a Super Bowl champion — Sanders can’t help but marvel at his journey.
“I grew up in the small town of Bellville, Texas,” Sanders said. “To make it this far, this journey, it’s just incredible to see how far I’ve come. Sometimes — it’s weird for me to say it — but I’m proud of myself. I feel like a lot of people should tell themselves how proud they are of themselves, because we’ve all come a long ways in life. And when I look back on my career, I can honestly say I gave it my all.”
About Emmanuel Sanders
Emmanuel Sanders is one of the most popular football wide receivers in the National Football League (NFL).
He began his career in the NFL with the football team Pittsburgh Steelers. Emmanuel Sanders was born on March 17, 1987, in Bellville, Texas to his mother Stephanie Sanders.
Personal information regarding his father is not available in the public domain. He spent his childhood with two younger sisters in Bellville, Texas. Sadly, his mother died in 2011 at the age of 41 years which affected him a lot personally. In 2013, Emmanuel Sanders married his girlfriend Gabriella Waheed.
They are the parents of two children, Princeton and Zoie.
He was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He attained this position and became eligible for the round only after playing an incredible season in college football at SMU. Later, he played for the football team Denver Broncos and helped the team win the ultimate prize from NFL, and Super Bowl 50. Sanders has also played for other prominent football teams like the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.
While playing for the Steelers during the 2011 season for Super Bowl XLV, he has two catches for 17 yards but in the second quarter, he was forced to leave after a foot injury incurred during a 13-yard catch.
Emmanuel Sanders’ Net Worth, Earnings & Spending Habits
What Is Emmanuel Sanders’ Net Worth?
Emmanuel Sanders’ net worth is estimated to be approximately $6 million. His wealth can be attributed to his successful career as a leading NFL player for football teams including Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos.
How Much Does Emmanuel Sanders Earn Per Year?
Emmanuel Sanders seems to have an average annual income of $1,323,000.
Height, Age & Physical Attributes
How Tall Is Emmanuel Sanders?
Emmanuel Sanders is 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) tall.
How Old Is Emmanuel Sanders?
Born on March 17, 1987, Emmanuel Sanders is 35 years of age as of May 2022.
Childhood And Education
Emmanuel Sanders was born on March 17, 1987, in Bellville. His mother’s name was Stephanie Sanders. There is no information about Sander’s father. His mother worked hard to ensure that he grew up with his two younger sisters in a safe and sound environment. Sander’s mother Stephanie died in 2011 when she was just 41 years of age. The incident affected him a lot personally. In 2013, Emmanuel Sanders married his girlfriend Gabriella Waheed and they have two children named Princeton and Zoie.
Emmanuel Niamiah Sanders has always provided his utmost effort and achieved high grades. Niamiah Sanders started high school when he was 16 years of age. After graduating from high school, Emmanuel Niamiah Sanders earned a bachelor’s degree from a public US state institution.
Emmanuel Sanders was a four-sport athlete at Bellville High School in Bellville, Texas, from which he excelled in football, basketball, sports in general, baseball, and running. Emmanuel Sanders would be a first All-District performer in defensive back, wide receiver, plus safety in football, where his performance was notable. He has run for 499 yards and six touchdowns as a senior and has caught 24 passes for 414 rushing yards. He had 49 tackles, including three turnovers on defense. Following his senior season, he was selected Team MVP as well as Tri-County Offensive Player of the Year. Throughout his playing career in high school, he bagged seven All-District awards.
Family, Romance, And Relationships
Who Is Emmanuel Sanders’ Partner?
Emmanuel Sanders is married to Gabriella Waheed and has two children. Princeton, their eldest child, was brought into the world in 2014, and Zoie, their second child was born in 2016. The couple is still together and going strong raising a happy family together.
Career And Professional Highlights
Best Known For…
Emmanuel Sanders is best known as a free agent wide receiver in American football. He was selected during the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers after playing college football at SMU. He played with the football team Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl 50 game. Emmanuel Sanders made the team win the game.
Sanders is a Texas native who became a professional football star, and has tasted great success despite being only 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) and 180 lb (82 kg), which is regarded as undersized for an NFL wide receiver. Sanders, aged 35, is a husband and father as well along with a polished pro athlete. Sander is very popular for his football skills as a wide receiver.
Emmanuel Sanders was voted the NFLPA Community MVP for week three after announcing the reopening of his philanthropic charity at the Harriet Ross Tubman School in Buffalo. During the reopening ceremony, he donated $20,000 to his organization’s cause for helping kids from economically deprived backgrounds.
What Awards Has Emmanuel Sanders Won?
The Denver Broncos won the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 50, and Emmanuel Sanders was named MVP.
Emmanuel Sanders’ Hobbies And Interests
No information is available in the public domain regarding the hobbies and interests of Emmanuel Sanders.
Other Interesting Emmanuel Sanders Facts And Trivia
- Emmanuel Sanders was enrolled at Southern Methodist University for three years. He opted for SMU over TCU, Kansas, Baylor, and Houston as a two-star athlete. He logged 98 receptions for 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, and he averaged 13.8 yards on touchbacks.
- Sanders had 28 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns and 25 kick returns for 628 yards, and ten total tackles. During the 2010 season, Sanders, Wallace, and Antonio Brown were regarded as the Young Money Crew. The wide receiver trio coined the moniker Bugatti Boys after a popular rap group. Sanders’ first initial is ‘E’, hence he was dubbed ‘Easy Money’ at times.
- The Buffalo Bills’ Emmanuel Sanders is a football player in the National Football League. He has also ended up playing for the Saints of New Orleans and the 49ers of San Francisco. Sanders won Super Bowl LIV and XLVIII with the Denver Broncos. Emmanuel has also received a three-year deal with the Denver Broncos.
- Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriella Waheed have had a lot of turbulence in their lives. In October 2016, she filed for divorce, citing a discord or collision of personalities. The couple is still together and appears to be on excellent terms. They use Instagram to share photos of each other.
- The age difference between Emmanuel Sanders and Gabriella Waheed is believed to be seven years. Gabriella Waheed is also known as Gabby Sanders. According to observations, Emmanuel Sanders is 35 years of age, whereas his wife Gabriella Waheed is 42 years of age, as of May 2022. The couple was married in 2013. The couple hasn’t stated how they met, but according to their social media pages, they’ve been together since 2011.
- Emmanuel Sanders and his wife Gabriella Waheed are the proud parents of two children. Princeton, their eldest daughter, was born in 2014, and Zoie, their second child, was born in 2016. Gabriella’s Instagram is full of photos of her kids, which she uses to promote her children’s fashion line. Kid Kong NYC, a children’s clothing company, was founded by the model in 2017.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Emmanuel Sanders in the third session, 82nd overall, of the 2010 NFL Draft, the very same team the Broncos defeated in the Divisional Round of the 2015 postseason. Sanders played for his initial four seasons with the Steelers, steadily improving each year until 2013 when he set career highs of 67 receptions for 740 yards and six touchdowns in his 16 final season games with the teams.
- Gabriella Waheed, Emmanuel Sanders’ wife, was born and brought up in the Long Island village of Commack. She shifted to New York City after high school and attended Marymount Manhattan College. Gabriella Waheed works with several television and cinema projects. Her career has allowed her to taste great success and this keeps her busy most of the time. In March 2013, the couple got engaged and married, and in February 2014, they welcomed their first child, Princeton.