The team announced Sunday it matched the $2.5 million offer the New England Patriots made to the restricted free agent wide receiver last week. Pittsburgh would have received a third-round pick from the Patriots if it let Sanders go to New England.
Instead Sanders will likely be second on the depth chart behind Antonio Brown when training camp opens in July. The 26-year-old Sanders caught 44 passes for 626 yards and a touchdown in 2012, and was the only wide receiver to appear in all 16 games for Pittsburgh in 2012.
His return gives the Steelers needed depth after Mike Wallace signed with Miami. Tight end Heath Miller is also out indefinitely while recovering from a severe knee injury.