Wide Receiver Free Agents


Minnesota’s Sidney Rice, Santonio Holmes of the Jets and Arizona’s Steve Breaston top the available receivers.

——————–

With the NFL owners’ lockout about to come to an end, the agenda for the 2011 season is set to begin and a big part of that will be the free agent signing period.

It figures to be a frenzied start as the league compressed into a week to 10 days what normally takes several months. As one of the NFL teams that must spend a lot of money in the 2011 season to reach the minimum level of spending under the salary cap, the Chiefs figure to be a buyer in this free agency period. Knowing how GM Scott Pioli works, they will approach the free-agent market with very specific plans and the chance of the Chiefs spend willy-nilly on free agents is very low.

One spot that will require attention will be wide receiver. The Chiefs helped themselves by selecting Jonathan Baldwin in the first round of April’s NFL Draft, but they need more talent at the position. That’s especially true if the Chiefs are following through with their plans to move Dexter McCluster to running back on a full-time basis.

The Chiefs have two in-house UFAs in Terrance Copper and Kevin Curtis. Copper has not been much of a contributor to the offense over the last two years, but he’s a key special teams player, the leader of that group in the 2010 season. I would expect the Chiefs will re-sign him. Curtis joined them for the game against Baltimore in the first-round of the playoffs and whether he’s a factor in coming back remains to be seen. There are a lot of free agent/wide receiver bodies that will be on the market, and there figure to be several more once teams are able to start maneuvering their rosters. For now, the list has been broken down, creating categories based on talent, age and production. Included on the list are last year’s stats plus career numbers.

It starts with Copper and Curtis.

Chiefs Unrestricted Free Agent Wide Receivers

 Player 

Old Team 

 Ht 

 Wt 

 Exp 

 Age 

’10 Rec

 Yds

 TD

Career Rec

 Yds  TD 
Terrance Copper 

 KC 

 6-0 

 210 

 7 

 29 

 18 

 157 

 0 

 68 

 825 

 6 

Kevin Curtis 

 KC 

 6-0 

 186 

 8 

 33 

 253 

 3,297 

20 

Other Unrestricted Free Agent Wide Receivers

Group A – The Best Available

 Player 

Old Team 

 Ht 

Wt 

 Exp 

 Age 

’10 Rec

 Yds

 TD

Career Rec

Yds  TD 
Steve Breaston 

 ARZ 

 6-0 

 189 

 4 

 27 

 47 

 718 

 1 

 187 

 2,528 

 7 

Santonio Holmes 

 NYJ 

5-11

 192 

 5 

 27 

 52 

 746 

 6 

 287 

 4,581 

 26 

Jacoby Jones 

 HOU 

 6-2 

 210 

 4 

27 

 51 

 562 

 3 

 96 

 1,229 

 9 

James Jones 

 GB 

 6-1 

 208 

 4 

 27 

 50 

 679 

 5 

 149 

 2,069 

 13 

Lance Moore 

 NO 

 5-9 

 190 

 27 

 66 

 763 

 8 

 192 

 2,156 

 22 

Santana Moss 

 WAS 

5-10 

 209 

 10 

 32 

 93 

 1,115 

 6 

 593 

 8,558 

 52 

Steve Smith 

 NYG 

5-11 

 195 

 4 

 26 

 48 

 529 

 3 

 220 

 2,386 

 11 

Sidney Rice 

 MIN 

 6-4 

 202 

 4 

 24 

 17 

 280 

 2 

 146 

 2,129 

 18 

This group includes all sorts of shapes and sizes among those available, from big receivers like Rice, to the little guys like Moore. Team always overpay for UFAs, and no matter where guys like Holmes, Rice, Moss or Breaston land, it will be for more money than the signing team wanted to pay. Essentially, a team has to expect and accept that fact; it’s hard to see Pioli and the Chiefs doing that with anybody in this group.

Obviously, head coach Todd Haley knows all about Breaston from their time together with Arizona. He struggled to get on the field with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin in front of him, but when Boldin was injured in ’08, Breaston got into the offense and finished with 77 catches for 1,006 yards and three TDs. In two seasons since then, he’s averaged 51 catches for 715 yards.

The biggest upside in this group would be Holmes and Rice. Both are divas with baggage, but that seems to be par for the course these days with NFL wide receivers.

Rice broke through in 2009 with Brett Favre throwing him the ball, catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight TDs. He missed most of the 2010 season because of a hip injury. He caught only 15 passes in 2008, missing time with a knee injury and losing his starting job to Bobby Wade.

Group B – The Second Level

 Player 

Old Team 

 Ht 

 Wt 

 Exp 

 Age 

’10 Rec

 Yds

 TD

Career Rec

 Yds

 TD 

Mark Clayton 

 STL 

5-10 

 190 

 6 

 29 

 23 

 306 

 2 

 257 

 3,422 

 14 

Malcom Floyd 

 SD 

 6-5

 225

 5

 29

 37

 717

 6

 134

 2,314

 15

Derek Hagan 

 NYG

 6-2

 215

 4

 26

 24

 223

 1

 85

 969

 5

Legedu Naanee 

 SD

 6-2

 220

 4 

 27

 23

 371

 1

 63

 746

 3

Laurent Robinson 

 STL 

 6-2 

 197 

 4 

 26 

 34 

 344 

 2 

 89 

 1,000 

 4 

Michael Sims-Walker 

 JAX 

 6-2 

 214 

 4 

 26 

 43 

 562 

 7 

 122 

 1,648 

 14 

Brad Smith 

 NYJ 

 6-2 

 212 

 5 

 27 

 4 

 44 

 0 

 64 

 557 

 2 

Chansi Stuckey 

CLV 

 6-0 

 196 

 4 

 27 

 40 

 346 

 0 

 102 

 1,023 

 5 

Most of these guys have not broken through as their team’s No. 1 receiver and are thus considered second-level guys. The names that might have more upside are Floyd and Sims Walker. Floyd has developed behind Vincent Jackson and that’s limited opportunities for him. But his 15 TDs in 134 catches is a nice ratio. Sims-Walker has an even better ratio with 14 TDs in 122 catches.

Group C – Older Guys

 Player 

Old Team 

 Ht 

 Wt 

 Exp 

 Age 

’10 Rec

 Yds

 TD

Career Rec

 Yds

 TD 

Brian Finneran 

 ATL 

 6-5 

 210 

 10 

 35 

 19 

 166 

 3 

 238 

 3,093 

 19 

T.J. Houshman … 

 BAL 

 6-2 

 203 

 10 

 33 

 30 

 398 

 3 

 616 

 7,091 

 43 

Brandon Stokley 

 SEA 

 6-0 

 192 

 12 

 35 

 21 

 354 

 0 

 338 

 4,673 

 34 

Finneran has struggled with injuries in the last four years, missing the 2006-07 seasons. Since his 2005 performance, he’s played in 42 games with 51 catches for 446 yards and 4 TDs. Stokley has bounced from Baltimore, to Indianapolis, to Denver and last year with Seattle. In the Seahawks improbable visit to the 2010 NFC playoffs; he was Seattle’s leading receiver with 12 catches for 159 yards and 2 TDs against New Orleans and Chicago. Houshmandzadeh’s skills have been sliding for the last few seasons, and last year he managed just 30 catches in 16 games.

Group D – Older Guys With Baggage

 Player 

Old Team 

 Ht 

 Wt 

 Exp 

 Age 

’10 Rec

 Yds

 TD

Career Rec

 Yds

 TD 

Plaxico Burress 

 NYG 

 6-5

 232 

 9

 33

 0

 0

 0

 505

7,845

 55

Braylon Edwards

 NYJ

 6-3

 214

 6

 28

 53

 904

 7

 326

 5,142

 39

Randy Moss

 TEN

 6-4

 210

 13

 34

 28

 393

 5

 954

 14,858

 153

Terrell Owens

 CIN

 6-3

 224

 15

 37

 72

 983

 9

 1,078

 15,934

 153

Donte Stallworth

 BAL

 6-0

 220

 8

 30

 2

 82

 0

 298

 4,465

 32

What can you say about this group? Owens and Moss are among the best receivers in league history. Amazingly at this point in their careers they both have caught 153 TD passes. Edwards is the youngster in this group, but he has baggage with off-field behavior that followed him from Cleveland to New York with the Jets. It figures to follow him to his next stop if he gets away from the Jets. Stallworth missed the 2009 season and played just eight games with two catches last year with the Ravens.

Burress is just out of prison hoping to restart his career. Moss spent time with three different teams last year New England (4 games), Minnesota (4 games) and Tennessee (8 games). Owens suffered a knee injury several months ago, and he may not be a factor on the free agent market until October. But everyone knows what comes with T.O. and his personality.


3 Responses to “Wide Receiver Free Agents”

  • July 25, 2011  - Blake says:

    I know Todd Haley has spoken highly of Stokley. If he isn’t resigned and the Chiefs still thinks he has some left in the tank then it wouldn’t surprise me if they signed him to come in and be the slot WR. Breaston is the guy I see them going after first though.


  • July 25, 2011  - Fansince93 says:

    I think Legedu Naanee could be a great #2 receiver to Bowe and have the most impact out of anyone in his group.


  • July 25, 2011  - Brad says:

    I don’t understand why people don’t talk about Dexter McCluster as a “Wes Welker type” slot receiver. I think he would be awesome at it. Last year, Haley spoke about McCluster as being the best route runner on the team. And he definitely doesn’t mind going over the middle. I can’t imagine his career will last very long as a running back.




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