Best Wide Receivers (Left) Available in Free Agency
Having trouble keeping up with what wide receivers will be available in free agency Tuesday, March 10 at 4 PM ET? Well, let Football Garbage Time rank and compile information on the top wide receivers still available (or likely to be available) in free agency!
1) Percy Harvin
He’s still a Jet, but will likely soon be a free agent in light of the Brandon Marshall acquisition. I’ve already mentioned how I think he would be terrific add in Oakland, especially reuniting with his old offensive coordinator from Minnesota, Bill Musgrave.
2) Michael Crabtree
With Torrey Smith signed, Crabtree will have to move elsewhere to find targets. So far, he’s been linked to the Vikings, Bills and the Dolphins. I’ve already mentioned that I think the Raiders should take a run at him as well.
3) Mike Wallace
Wallace is still a Dolphin…for now. But his contract requires a decision be made by Sunday, March 15, or else $3 million of his $9.9 million of his 2015 salary will vest. It doesn’t seem likely that Wallace will want to take a pay cut, as he’s likely to be in the top three biggest named wide receivers in free agency if he goes into free agency. I’m biased, but I think he would fit well in Chicago, now that Brandon Marshall is gone (another great receiver that floundered in Miami). But the Dolphins may still decide to suck it up and take on his $9.9 million salary in light of the mediocre remaining wide receiver free agency market.
UPDATE (3/13/15): Wallace has been signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 14, 2015
4) Andre Johnson
Johnson was finally officially released today, after requesting it through his agent a week ago.
The Houston Texans have officially released WR Andre Johnson. He's free to sign with any team. pic.twitter.com/J9k5p4EsIM
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 9, 2015
I’ve already discussed Johnson and how I think he should go to Oakland (do you see a trend here? Yes, Oakland really needs a veteran big name receiver…), but his desire to be with a “contender” might lead him elsewhere. According to his brother, Johnson prefers to go to the Patriots, Colts, Seahawks, or Packers.
UPDATE (3/11/15): Andre Johnson has signed with the Colts and is now off the market.
5) Kenny Britt
After Brian Quick went down during the 2014 regular season, Britt stepped up in a big way in St. Louis. But the landscape in St. Louis is unclear now, particularly with respect to who will be passing the ball. In all likelihood, it won’t be Shaun Hill, who actually went to Britt for 748 yards and 3 touchdowns. Reportedly, Britt wants to stay in St. Louis with his former coach at Tennessee, so perhaps St. Louis will look to keep him. But he should have plenty of suitors in free agency with his 2014 late season performance and memories of his rising dominance in Tennessee that was cut short by injury.
UPDATE (3/13/15): Kenny Britt is likely to be re-signed by St. Louis.
6) Hakeem Nicks
Nicks has definitely lost a step. He looked like he was heading for stardom in New York after being drafted in 2009, but then injuries took the luster off. He then made his way to the Colts, but only had 38 receptions for 405 yards with 4 touchdowns in 2014. Nicks commented on NFL.com about his regression in New York:
“I think in New York, I was just having injury after injury, and I think I just wasn’t taking care of it the right way. I just kept trying to play through them instead of being patient and sitting and let it heal…. Now, I am extremely healthy. Looking back on it now, I think that’s something that I just had to go through. My body was adjusting.”
He’s not likely to be a superstar anymore, but he certainly can be a solid WR2 or WR3, and will certainly garner attention in free agency.
7) Harry Douglas
This one really surprised me, as Douglas put up reliable numbers when either Roddy White or Julio Jones were out (and that happened a lot more than you think). He’s already visited the Titans, who could use the receiver help, and at least some think it will be a good fit:
Former Falcons WR Harry Douglas visiting Titans and his former coach Mike Mularkey today. Logical fit.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2015
I think the Falcons made a mistake letting him go. He had a 1,000 yard season in 2013(85 receptions for 1,067 yards and 2 touchdowns), and, in spite of a down year in total, filled in admirably as a WR2 when necessary in 2014. If not the Titans, I actually think he would be a good WR2 or WR3 in any system.
UPDATE (3/11/15): Harry Douglas was signed by the Titans and is now off the market.
I'm officially a Tennessee Titan…I thank GOD for blessing me & always having my back…Excited for this new chapter pic.twitter.com/Rwfq2xR3DY
— Harry Douglas (@HDouglas83) March 11, 2015
8) Cecil Shorts
There are serious injury concerns here, but in combination with the lack of recent production (557 yards and 1 touchdown in 2014), he’ll be a cheaper target with a high ceiling in free agency. He’s been linked most seriously with Miami. This is the type of receiver I’d like to gamble on in free agency.
9) Denarius Moore
Apparently, Bill Polian of ESPN thinks that Moore is a B+ receiver. I’d have to disagree there. But there’s no denying that there’s potential, and as we work down the list, sometimes it’s better to roll the dice with potential instead of a filler option.
10) Brian Hartline
And when I say filler option, I mean someone like Hartline. Solid, no frills, high floor, but low ceiling receiver. Nothing wrong with that, but you should already have a superstar WR1 before signing Hartline to round out your receiving core. Hartline has already garnered significant interest though, and visited and/or is being considered by a number of prospective teams, including Cleveland, New England, Chicago and Houston. And, of course, it’s still possible for Hartline to reunite with the Dolphins.
UPDATE (3/9/15): Hartline was signed by the Browns, so he’s off the market.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) March 10, 2015
11) Reggie Wayne
As I’ve already mentioned, Wayne is a first Ballot Hall of Famer for sure. But the big question is whether he’ll want to come back next year since he won’t be playing for the Colts. I wrote that he should go to the Browns, but his desire to spend his last year with a contender might lead him to another team.
12) Eddie Royal
With the Chargers signing Jacoby Jones, its most likely that Royal won’t be back in San Diego for 2015. He’s shown flashes of potential over the years, but is entirely too inconsistent. But he’s still a threat both as a WR2/3 and as a kick/punt returner. He’ll have a market in free agency as well.
UPDATE (3/11/15): Eddie Royal has signed with the Chicago Bears and is now off the market.
13) Dwayne Bowe
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 5, 2015
It’s all but a done deal that Bowe will be released since the Chiefs are now reportedly paying Jeremy Maclin around $11 million a year. Where will he go? Well, earlier, Bowe mysteriously followed then unfollowed the Patriots account:
— PatriotsLife (@PatriotsLife) March 9, 2015
Could he be going to the Patriots? Not a bad choice, as Belichick’s system can make just about any receiver relevant. And frankly, Bowe will come at a deep discount in light of his less than stellar play over the last couple years.