After being traded to the Patriots prior to the trade deadline last season, things did not go according to plan for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
The 30-year-old managed just 26 receptions on 47 targets for 207 yards and a touchdown in eight games. It's worth noting 10 catches and 81 yards came in his first game with his new team.
Sanu battled an ankle injury down the stretch and had offseason surgery, which according to those close to him it will help turn things around for 2020.
"I would tell you he's probably faster, quicker, leaner and in better shape now than prior to the surgery," said Sanu's trainer Hilton Alexander to ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I would say he's way ahead of any doctor's knowledge or prediction where he would have been at this point. Way ahead of the curve."
Alexander acknowledged it wasn't a great end of the year for Sanu and he thinks it will be much different this coming season.
"I think he knows he was a shell of himself toward the end of the season. He wasn't in the position where he could do the best he could and be able to offer that Mohamed Sanu that everybody has grown to love all those years in Cinci [2012-15] and Atlanta [2016-2018]," he said. "I know the fans didn't get a chance to see 100 percent Mohamed Sanu. I promise you, that is a huge chip on his shoulder now."
Sanu is back working on "explosive movements, cutting, hill running and full-speed drills," which is a good sign when it comes to his availability for training camp. He also got right to work after the surgery, calling Alexander up right away and catching 1,000 balls a day at times.
The veteran wide receiver figures to be an important piece to the Patriots offense if healthy, as if Julian Edelman demands a lot of attention it could free Sanu up to make plays. His chemistry with Jarrett Stidham will also be very important.
Sanu is on the books for $6.5 million in 2020.