2013 NFL Free Agent Receivers
By: Roshan Bhagat
Greg Jennings (GB) - In the final year of the 4-year, $27 million deal he signed in 2009, Jennings will look to nearly double that on his next contract after seeing Vincent Jackson go 5 for $55 million. With consistency and humility, Jennings would be on a great asset for a rhythm- based offense that emphasizes precise route- running where Jennings has flourished as a top 5 receiver over the past few seasons. With other key extensions on the horizon and the emergence of Randall Cobb and James Jones in Green Bay, rumors suggest that Jennings will not be in green and gold next year.
Mike Wallace (PIT) - After a noisy offseason of threats and 9-digit contract talks, Mike Wallace backed down and returned to the field just in time for the regular season. Though his pathetic display of drops and inconsistency has dropped his value this offseason, he should have the opportunity to test the market. Fighting the cap and Antonio Brown's contract, the Steelers aren't likely to bring the franchise tag into play making the premier deep threat one of the big prizes in free agency.
Dwayne Bowe (KC) - Prior coaching and front office changes in Kansas City, it was almost a lock that Bowe had played his last down as a Chief. Now with a sliver of hope, the new regime can make him a pitch on why the next five years may be better than his last five. In the end though, Bowe's production as a number one receiver despite a quarterbacking crew that will looked to be replaced this offseason, will land him a lucrative deal this offseason. His biggest obstacles to receiving that payday will be the free agent interest drawn by his peers.
Wes Welker (NE) - A free agent a year ago, the Patriots refused to budge from their stance and Welker ended up playing on the franchise tag. Now 32 headed into free agency, Welker will have even less leverage and the Patriots less likely to give him a long term deal. In the end, though his loss would force the Patriots to make slight offensive changes, it's not a loss they can't overcome with Brady and Josh McDaniels. Expect Wes Welker to play in a different uniform in 2013.
Danny Amendola (STL) - With quickness and sure hands, Amendola is as good as any working the slots and the chains. Though playing only 11 games, Amendola reeled in 63 passes for 666 yards and providing Bradford his only reliable target. The Rams don't have much cap space to use the franchise tag, but they should make re- signing Amendola to a long- term deal a high priority this offseason if they wish to see Sam Bradford finally take another step forward.
Brian Hartline (MIA) - With his first 1000 yard season coming with Ryan Tannehill at the helm of the offense, Brian Hartline insists upon his return to Miami. The Dolphins need to be spending this offseason looking for another receiver or two, but losing Hartline as the eventual #2 in this offense would be a big step backwards for the organization and their developing young quarterback, especially if they can't land another starting caliber receiver this offseason.
Tony Gonzalez (ATL) - One of the biggest uncertainties for the Falcons going into next year will rest on the cleats of their future Hall of Famer. If he hangs them up, his Sunday presence will be missed dearly by not only the Falcons, but an entire generation of fans and tight ends grew up watching Gonzalez dominate defenses and set record after record. If he decides to return (far more likely if the Falcons get bounced in the playoffs), there's no reason for him not to re- sign with the Falcons, a perennial Super Bowl contender.
Jared Cook (TEN) - The Titans would love to re- sign Cook, a tight end with elite athleticism and impressive playmaking ability, but convincing him to agree stay put won't be as easy. His numbers dropped from the year prior and he finished 24th in targets among tight ends. With increasing value at his position, there will be a market for an athlete of his stature.
Dustin Keller (NYJ) - Missing half the season to hamstring and ankle injuries, Keller finished his contract year in nightmarish fashion. With the turmoil in New York, the Jets aren't expected to re- sign Keller. If rumors materialize and Keller lands in a city with a legitimate quarterback, he could be signed at bargain price this offseason. Given his situation over the past few seasons, it's difficult to evaluate his true ability, but the injury of a year ago should reduce the monetary risk associated with the decision.
Fred Davis (WAS) - Entering this season, Davis was expected to blossom after finishing his breakout 2011 season with 796 yards. With an improved quarterbacking situation, Davis should have been in line for a big payday entering his prime. Unfortunately, he tore an Achilles tendon midway through the year after playing in a more run- heavy offense leading to less receiving opportunities. Though Washington is still in play, Davis will likely strike a short "prove it" deal regardless of where he goes.
Martellus Bennett (NYG) - With 611 yards and fewer drops than expected, Bennett flourished in New York. His size and ability to attack the middle of the field fills a void the Giants have on offense. Recent history suggests the Giants won't overpay for a tight end, but a fair deal should keep the former Dallas underachiever in New York, where they value the balance he brings to the position.
Brandon Myers (OAK) - Meyers came out of nowhere to finish inside the top 6 among tight ends in receptions (75) and yards (753). Without any spectacular ability, Meyers shouldn't shock the market or find himself signing an exorbitant deal based solely on potential and a single breakout season. A fair offer should keep Meyers an Oakland Raider.
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