Updated: Ranked Remaining Wide Receivers in Free Agency
It’s almost been a full four days in free agency and sparks have been flying.
With big names like DeMarco Murray, Andre Johnson, Ndamukong Suh and Darelle Revis finding homes, potential impact players like Eddie Royal and Harry Douglas getting landing spots, and crazy trades being pulled off like Sam Bradford for Nick Foles, it can be a real hassle trying to keep up.
Don’t worry, Football Garbage Time has you covered as we 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.
His most recent visit was with the Bills, and it looks like he has an offer in hand but will keep his options open:
Percy Harvin's visit with the Bills is complete. Mulling other possible visits. Things could come to a head over the weekend
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 12, 2015
Although, clearly, Sammy Watkins wants Harvin in Buffalo:
Did we get Percy Harvin?????
— Sammy Watkins (@sammywatkins) March 13, 2015
Buffalo could be a good fit, but it’s still unclear who will be the signal caller there. And not having a good quarterback is Harvin’s number one pet peeve, which may have been a significant factor in him getting traded from the Vikings to the Seahawks in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, though, one of the other options Harvin will be exploring that DOES have a good quarterback are the New England Patriots:
Percy Harvin is visiting the Patriots today following his meeting with the Bills, per league source. It's between those two for Harvin.
— Adam Schefter (@Adam_Schefterr) March 12, 2015
There’s still plenty of options here for who I believe to be the number one free agency wide receiver on the market.
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.
Apparently, though, no team has been that interested in Crabtree, as he’s had no reported visits yet:
The 49ers’ top remaining free agents are CB Perrish Cox (visits to Wash, Cleve, Tenn) and WR Michael Crabtree (no reported visits).
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) March 13, 2015
Since all the Browns have done so far is sign Brian Hartline, the Browns can also be a good landing spot for Crabtree. It’s surprising that he hasn’t been pursued yet, but I’m sure it’ll pick up as the market continues to tighten.
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), even with the Eddie Royal acquisition, since Wallace could provide a deep threat while Royal plays the slot. 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. Apparently, that’s what some NFL pundits believe as well:
I'm guessing but I think the Dolphins will stay with Mike Wallace for one more season.
— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) March 9, 2015
And quarterback Ryan Tannenbaum recently indicated that there may be chance that he will restructure his deal.
“Sometimes things take a little longer to play out. His representative Bus Cook is a guy I’ve known for a long time and a guy I hold in high regard. So we’ll go from there.”
With so little movement and with money already going his way, it would be surprising at this point if Wallace and the Dolphins don’t find a way to make it work. But he certainly will have plenty of suitors if not.
UPDATE (3/13/15): Wallace has been signed by the Minnesota Vikings.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 14, 2015
4) 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.
At this time, though, it appears that the Rams are closing to re-signing him for at least another year.
5) 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.
6) 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.
Currently, the Jets seem to be the most interested in acquiring Shorts:
Jets interested in WR Cecil Shorts III (which makes sense because all those cornerbacks have to cover someone) http://t.co/gQdyWcrDBP
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 12, 2015
This would make a lot of sense and would create quite an intimidating trio of receivers in Decker, Marshall and Shorts.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) Dwayne Bowe
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 5, 2015
Bowe was officially released on Thursday, primarily due to his declining effectiveness and the Chiefs paying Jeremy Maclin to come in for 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. Current news though has him potentially in line for the Browns:
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 12, 2015
As I’ve discussed previously, the Browns have serious receiving issues now that Jordan Cameron has officially signed with the Dolphins, and they certainly could benefit from a veteran presence like Bowe. And frankly, Bowe will come at a deep discount in light of his less than stellar play over the last couple years.