This may be the year for the Redskins to dip into the free agent market to try to get a solid receiver to pair with Pierre Garçon. According to Pro Football Talk it is shaping up to be a buyer’s market when it comes to wide receivers.
By PFT’s count there will be 53 unrestricted free agents on the market when free agency opens on March 11. Teams signing their own players before the start of free agency could shrink that number and teams releasing players for salary cap or other reasons could grown it. In any case there could be more receivers looking for jobs than there are jobs to fill.
You have to figure that the top names on the market like the Broncos’ Eric Decker, the 49ers’ Anquan Boldin, and the Seahawks’ Golden Tate will find jobs fairly quickly, although they might not get contracts as rich as they would like. But that leaves a long list of capable receivers—you can see all of the names here on the PFT post—who will be chasing after a list of openings that will grow shorter and shorter.
The Redskins might not be able to get any of the top names but they certainly can find a quality receiver for less—perhaps much less—than they thought. Julian Edelman, anyone? How about ex-Bengal Jerome Simpson? Maybe Jacoby Jones can come aboard and work both as a receiver and a badly needed returner.
Another factor that will drive down wide receiver contracts is the ample supply of talented receivers in draft. According to Mel Kiper of ESPN quality wide receivers are likely to be available in the third round, maybe even beyond. Many teams will forego paying a veteran big bucks and go with a much cheaper draft pick.