With Mario Manningham gone, free agency is essentially picked clean. The only option left would be a run at Mike Wallace - which would be a brilliant move and totally worth the price, but not something I envision Mike Brown making because it's out of his depth. So what exactly is the plan?
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the answer is bring back Jerome Simpson. It's almost TOO perfect of a Mike Brown move. Yeah, he'll probably be suspended for at least 4 games, but he should also come with basically a league minimum contract thanks to the legal problems and the fact that no one else wants to touch him. Nevermind all of the many reasons WHY no one else doesn't want to touch him, not the least of which he isn't a very good NFL receiver. The ridiculous implication that Marvin made a few weeks ago that Armon Binns is a suitable replacement is borderline insulting to a fanbase that watched two 3rd year receivers fail to be consistent enough to complement AJ Green all last season. And the only other option is to use one of our first round picks on someone like Michael Floyd or Alshon Jeffrey. While that would be in keeping with our "build through the draft" approach, it's a pretty risky proposition to think you're going to strike gold with two NFL-ready receivers in two consecutive drafts. When you factor in our much bigger needs in the first round (CB, OG, RB, DT, safety) then you're more likely looking at drafting a guy in the late 2nd or even 3rd rounds. There's no way you can go into the season thinking a 2nd or 3rd round pick is going to be an upgrade over Jerome Simpson or even Andre Caldwell.
Basically, barring a longshot run at Mike Wallace, I don't see how our passing game will be at all improved next year. And the idea of hitching our wagon to Jerome Simpson for another 2-3 seasons is just pathetic. So I'm glad we've made the handful of moves we have in the past few days, but none of them have made this team substantially better and they have ignored one of the spots that would have been easiest fixed in free agency this year.