FanPost

2012 Free Agents: WR

The free agent market for wide receivers has been very hit-or-miss. Most WRs get the big contracts from their own teams or via trade+extension, although a few have taken the free agent route (Rice, Bryant, Housh, Boldin). Most of the big contracts are obviously #1 guys but some in this list didn't even lead their team in yards or receptions (Holmes and Rice).

Player

Years

Avg

Guaranteed

Guar/Yr

Year

Larry Fitzgerald

8

$15.00

$45.00

$5.63

2011

Vincent Jackson

1

$11.93

$11.93

$11.93

2011

Brandon Marshall

5

$10.00

$24.00

$4.80

2010

Santonio Holmes

5

$10.00

$24.00

$4.80

2011

Antonio Bryant

1

$9.88

$9.88

$9.88

2009

Roddy White

6

$8.33

$18.00

$3.00

2009

Sidney Rice

5

$8.20

$18.50

$3.70

2011

Miles Austin

7

$8.14

$18.00

$2.57

2010

T.J. Houshmandzadeh

5

$8.00

$14.50

$2.90

2009

Greg Jennings

4

$7.00

$16.00

$4.00

2009

Anquan Boldin

4

$7.00

$10.00

$2.50

2010

Antonio Bryant

4

$7.00

2010

Mike Thomas

3

$6.00

$9.00

$3.00

2011

Here are the top names available next spring: Vincent Jackson, DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Robert Meachem, Brandon Lloyd, Pierre Garcon, Mario Manningham (I don't expect Wes Welker, Steve Johnson or Mike Wallace to really be options come spring). Before picking a name from the list, it's important to figure out what kind of receiver best fits our new offense. A.J. Green has emerged as a legitimate #1 receiver who comes up big on 3rd downs but also on the deep ball. Shipley, if healthy, is a reliable slot guy. And if we can ever get Gresham more involved we'd have another weapon for the passing attack. What's missing: a deep threat.

Wallace would be ideal but as Mike Brown doesn't give up draft picks, this isn't an option. One of the Jacksons would be a good choice but each comes with baggage. Bowe is another good option, but he too hasn't put it all together. Meachem is intriguing given his deep speed and very good but underrated hands (66% catch rate). Colston however would be my target. He produces (1000yds and 8 TDs per season , has excellent hands (75%) and a high yards-per-pass rate (10.3).

Ironically, the potentially top free agent WR (Jordy Nelson) resigned with the Packers at a meager 3yr, $4.45M/yr, $1.67M guar/yr. I'm sure teams will look at this contract during negotiations whereas agents and players will focus on the Holmes and Rice contracts.

Resigning Simpson is worth considering but not as a starter - especially considering his uncertain future with his legal issues. But he's a good run blocker and can make the big play, even if he's inconsistent. Honestly though for the right price he's an asset to the team and hopefully the team's patience is rewarded with a hometown discount on a 1- or 2-year deal.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.

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