Sanu is now reunited with offensive wizard Kyle Shanahan for the first time since 2017. Under Shanahan, Sanu was a part of that trailblazing Atlanta Falcons offense which reached Super Bowl LI.
Sanu’s career averages
Per Pro Football Reference, since 2016, per sixteen games, Sanu has averaged 712 receiving yards, 66 receptions on 94 targets, 4 touchdowns, and 10.8 yards per reception.
This is an astute, crafty, smart signing by the 49ers front office. The Niners could have picked up Sanu last year at the trade deadline. However, they opted for Emmanuel Sanders instead.
The Sanders signing proved dividends as the 49ers offense saw a marked boost in potency after his arrival as they marched towards Super Bowl LIV. However, the Niners were unable to bring Sanders back for the 2020 season and saw the wily veteran sign with the Saints.
49ers receivers need help
Against the Cardinals, the 49ers receivers Dante Pettis, Trent Taylor, and Kendrick Bourne combined for a pathetic 41 yards. The Niners desperately needed Sanu’s veteran presence in the locker room and his ability and reliability. The Sanu signing represents a chance for the Niners to recreate their success with Sanders last season, despite Sanu not being as good of a player as Sanders.
Don’t expect Sanu to come in and act as a wide receiver number one. Nevertheless, the veteran will act as a reliable target for Garoppolo, who knows Shanahan’s system and can get open when need be. However, it should be noted that the wide receiver needy Patriots released Sanu before this season for looking too slow.
With that in mind, this signing is indicative of a smart organization. The Niners could have gone out last year and traded away a second-round pick for Sanu. However, they made a better decision and went with Sanders, giving up less. Flash forward a summer, and now the Niners sign Sanu, at a position of need, for next to nothing.
Although the former Falcon will not set the world on fire, Sanu is a smart pick up by a front office that doesn’t overreact and goes about things the right way.
It is unknown whether or not Sanu will see the field against the New York Jets on Sunday. But expect Sanu to see a lot of action the following week as the Niners take on the Giants in Week Three.
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