Agents flexed their media muscles this weekend, reaching out to the twitter-shpere via all of their connections to float as many “team has expressed interest” rumors that they could muster. Today things are slowly coming together with signings becoming official beginning at 4:00pm EST. Before they do, let’s take one last look at the top free agent wide receivers.
Everyone knows that Eric Decker wants to be known as a number one receiver, but more importantly, he wants to be paid like a number one receiver. The Colts have been the only team so far loosely connected with Decker and with Reggie Wayne knocking on retirement’s door coupled with Jim Irsay’s free spending ways, the marriage does make some sense. Pep Hamilton seems intent on making the Colts offense go through the run game so I’m going to lean away from the Colts when it comes to Decker. The highest bidder will most likely land the best receiver in free agency but there is a big gaping hole in Carolina, one that will be nicely filled by Eric Decker.
Buzz – Colts
Best Fit – Panthers
Poor Hakeem Nicks. Rarely does a free agent player stump for a team just before free agency kicks off. It’s even worse when the pleading comes during the legal tampering period where teams are allowed to contact his agent. Once it was leaked that Nicks was open to a one year “prove it” deal, the low ball offers surely came flowing in much to his dismay. Nicks has publicly stated his desire for a long term deal, but that is unlikely to occur now coming off a very disappointing 2013 campaign. A one year “prove it” deal looks to make the most sense.
Buzz – Colts, Panthers, Chargers
Best Fit – Chargers
There has been plenty of discussion of the Patriots cutting Danny Amendola which would, in theory, make them players in the wide receiver free agency hunt. Re-signing Julian Edelman has been rumored to be of the utmost importance this off-season but a deal has yet to be struck. It’s a tricky contract to negotiate when everyone knows that Edelman means more to the Patriots than any other team. In the end, I fully expect a deal to be consummated in New England.
Buzz – Patriots
Best Fit – Patriots
Tate is looking to cash in on his Super Bowl winning year and turning it into a larger contract than he is deserved. Tate did take a minor step forward this season but not a large enough step to warrant another team wooing the 4th year veteran. Tate’s likely and best fit will be remaining in the Pacific Northwest and trying for a repeat and he will do so on a modest contract.
Buzz – Seahawks/Jets
Best Fit – Seahawks
Jones has been a solid, if unspectacular receiver for the Packers his entire career and now looks to land on his feet in a new locale. The last time Jones was a free agent, he didn’t find many suitors and returned to the Packers late in the summer. This year, Jones will have a tough time drumming up much more interest three years later. There are plenty of teams looking for a decent second receiver, which Jones has proven to be over the years. A team filled with young players still learning how to be professionals would most likely benefit from someone of Jones’ stature, a player that has played with All-Pro quarterbacks and has deep playoff experience.
Buzz – Giants/Chargers/Colts
Best Fit – Giants
Sanders was a rare tendered restricted free agent who wrangled an offer with the Patriots that was matched by the Steelers last year. This year, Sanders is free and is ready to move on to the next chapter of his career. There are rumors that the Patriots could move on from Danny Amendola, whose exodus could easily be filled by the younger Sanders but that transaction appears to be unlikely. Sanders won’t be without suitors as teams will look to land a player that by all accounts is still improving his game. Teaming him with Josh Gordon in Cleveland looks like it would be a perfect pairing.
Buzz – Jets, Lions, Browns
Best Fit – Browns
Scouts seem to like Andre Roberts a little more than his quarterbacks. Roberts’ measurables and acumen appear to be much higher than any of his disappointing stats in his so far pedestrian career. Ticketed for bigger things this past season filling the number three wide-out role in Bruce Arians’ offense, things just never quite fell into place. Roberts is eager for a change of scenery and GMs around the league will likely see Roberts as a low-risk/high-reward bargain. How many GMs see Roberts that way and how far each of them will be willing to outbid the other will determine his landing spot. He seems like a perfect low-risk boring acquisition that will be universally panned in New York.
Buzz – none
Best Fit – Jets