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Bills WR Emmanuel Sanders Mulling Retirement

He also was so heartbroken after the playoff loss at Kansas City that he didn't fly home with the team.
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Pending free agency may lead to retirement for Emmanuel Sanders, the Buffalo Bills star wide receiver confessed on Thursday to sports talk-show host Colin Cowherd.

"I've got my son, he's getting older," said Sanders, who will turn 35 next month. "I've got a daughter getting older. And for the past three years, [I've] been traveling and moving from team to team, trying to win a Super Bowl. But I've got some reflecting I want to want to do and possibly retire. I don't know yet. I'm just feeling it out.

"... After the [playoff loss] versus the Chiefs, you know, [quarterback] Josh Allen was like, `hey, let's run it back.' And I was like, `man, give me some time to reflect and see how I feel."

Sanders said his only goal left as a player would be to win another Super Bowl, which rules out joining any team not built to win right away.

If he decides to keep playing, he would welcome a chance to return to the Bills even after the departure of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, praised by Sanders as a coach who communicated with him more than any in his 12 years in the league.

"He would call me and he'd just be in the pool with a cigar, like 'hey, man, how you doing? I'm drawing up some plays, I got this play and that play.' And he' just so innovative and dynamic the way that he had our offense.

"You've got to think like that game we had against the Patriots, with zero punts, zero field goals — you know, like the perfect game as an offense. He's just an innovator, and the way he had Josh scrambling and the run plays and how he was using [WR] Isaiah McKenzie. I mean, he's just one really good coach."

Because of that, Sanders said Daboll's introductory press conference as the new head coach of the New York Giants was the first press conference he watched a coach conduct.

"I watched ... because I wanted to see if he was going to continue to be Brian Daboll, one of the realest people or coaches that I've ever been around," Sanders said. "And hearing that press conference, I said, `oh yeah, the Giants are in good hands, because he kept it real, he kept being himself.'

"Man, I root for him, and I know that he's going to do big things with the Giants."

Sanders also spoke fondly of Bills head coach Sean McDermott for the regular conversations they have involving McDermott "trying to pick my brain about the previous Super Bowl teams that I've been on and as a veteran, you know, my experience from that."

Finally, Sanders reflected on the heartbreaking overtime playoff loss to the Chiefs that left him so distraught that he didn't get on the plane with the team for the flight back to Buffalo.

"I stayed in Kansas City with my wife and then I called all the guys," he said. "Because for me, being a free agent and knowing where my mind was, like, goodbyes are so hard for me, you know? So I didn't take that plane ride.

"But one thing that I do remember is after the game, me, Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis were all sitting around and it was like nobody was talking. Everybody was just like looking out into nowhere. And I could just feel it. Everybody was like, `when am I going to wake up from his bad dream?' "

After having a chance to digest it, Sanders is thankful to have been part of such a historic event.

"It was one of the greatest games ever played in the NFL," he said, "and it sucks that we were on the short end of it. But at the end of the day, it was still a blessing to perform like that, especially Gabe Davis. His performance was insane, you know what I mean? I'm just proud of him as well".

Nick Fierro is the publisher of Bills Central. Check out the latest Bills news at and follow Fierro on Twitter at @NickFierro. Email to