NFL: Top 10 Free Agent Wide Receivers Still Available
10 Best Available Free Agent Wide Receivers
With NFL training camps right around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to see who is still available at the wide receiver position in the free agent market. Every year, players get injured or young players are not ready for an expanded role, and it is nice to have veteran free agent options on the market. While the current crop if free agents at the wide receiver position is not that impressive, there are some guys that would make very interesting additions to a handful of teams.
As we all know, the NFL is more of a passing league than ever before. Teams are now constantly spreading the field and throwing the ball all over the place. While there are certainly still some teams who focus their offense on the run game, they are becoming few and far between. Obviously, this makes the wide receiver position much more important. These pass-happy teams need to be at least five deep at the position because if one of your receivers goes down, somebody has to be there to step in.
The one team that I think is surely searching the free agent for wide receivers is the New England Patriots. Of the top four passing options for quarterback Tom Brady last season, three are no longer on the roster and Rob Gronkowski is struggling with multiple injuries. The Patriots did bring in free agent Danny Amendola who should take a ton of those targets, and did address the position in the draft with Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce, but I think the Patriots could surely use some more depth at WR. Other teams who could be in the market for some WR depth are the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers, among others.
Luckily, for those teams who are looking for some depth, there are still some nice, veteran free agent options at the wide receiver position. Here are the top 10 wide receivers that are still looking for a team.
10. Steve Breaston
Steve Breaston was a bit of an afterthought last season with the Kansas City Chiefs. He only played in 10 games and had seven receptions for 74 yards. I think that the 29-year-old Breaston still has some life left in his legs. He still appears to have good speed and that is always welcome on a football team. He is a guy that has had some past success and is a good veteran influence on younger players.
9. Mike Sims-Walker
Mike Sims-Walker has not played in a NFL game since 2011. Obviously that is concerning, but the upside on the 28-year-old wide receiver is huge. He had some very successful seasons early in his career in Jacksonville and I think he is worth a shot. When Sims-Walker is healthy, he is a physical force on the outside. He would obviously be a risky signing, but I think the upside is huge.
8. Austin Collie
After struggling with multiple concussions and a very serious knee injury over the past couple of seasons, Austin Collie is trying to make a return. His first two seasons in the NFL were great. In those two seasons, Collie had a combined 118 catches for 1,325 yards and 15 touchdowns. If he can even get close to those numbers, Collie will be a steal for whatever team that takes a chance on him.
7. Chaz Schilens
Chaz Schilens played in 15 games with the Jets last season. He had 28 receptions for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Schilens is a big wide receiver at 6-foot-4 and weighing 225. At only 27-years-old, I think that Schilens still has plenty left in the tank and would be a nice get for a team looking to add a big red-zone target.
6. Laurent Robinson
After a great season in 2011 with the Dallas Cowboys, Laurent Robinson came crashing back to earth last season. In his only season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson only played in seven games due to injury. The 28-year-old WR has had some success and if he can just stay healthy, he could really be a steal for a team this late in free agency.
5. Deion Branch
At this point, I would be surprised if Deion Branch does not end up in New England. They could use some pass catchers, and Branch definitely has a history with the Patriots. Branch will be 34 at the start of this season, and he does not have the great athletic ability that he once had. That being said, Branch can still run and knows the Patriots' offense as well as anybody. This seems like a no-brainer to me.
4. Braylon Edwards
He may be on the downside of his career, but I think that Braylon Edwards still has something left in the tank. His foot speed is all but gone, but he is still a big physical target for a quarterback to throw to. You can certainly do worse than Edwards if you are looking for a red-zone target.
3. Brandon Stokley
Brandon Stokley had a bit of a career resurgence last season with the Denver Broncos. Stokley caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns. Denver replaced him with Welker, but I think Stokley still has some value as a slot receiver.
2. Randy Moss
Last season with the 49ers, Randy Moss had only 28 catches for 434 yards and three touchdowns — not exactly the production that we are used to seeing out of Moss. He still has solid skills, but at 36-years-old, his elite athletic ability is gone. He no longer has elite speed or jumping ability, but he is still solid in those categories. If Moss decides to make one more go-round, I think he has enough left in the tank to help a team out.
1. Brandon Lloyd
I do not understand why Brandon Lloyd is still a free agent. Okay, it did not work out with the Patriots and they cut him to save some money, I understand that. But what am I missing here? Lloyd was still a solid deep threat in New England and even put up solid numbers last season (74 catches, 911 yards, four TDs). Why isn't anybody signing this guy? He still looked like he had plenty of life left in his legs, and surely somebody out there wants to take a chance on Lloyd.