Two years ago the Redskins the Redskins went into free agency in need of two wide receivers. It was not a good year to need a wideout as the demand exceeded the supply. In the opening hours of free agency they landed Pierre Garçon for five years with a deal worth $42 million while Morgan got two years, $12 million with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Once again, Redskins are in need of at least two wide receivers to fill out their roster and to give Robert Griffin III additional targets so he can continue his development.
The good news is that it looks like it will be a great year to need a wide receiver as the laws of economics will work in favor of teams shopping for receivers with the supply exceeding the demand.
We have already discussed the upcoming buyer’s market for wide receivers in free agency. As of now there are over 50 veteran wideouts who are going to hit the market when free agency opens up on March 11. Pending the application of the franchise tag, an option until Friday of this week, the Redskins will be able to talk to receivers who have had some outstanding seasons, such as Eric Decker, Julian Edelman, and Hakeem Nicks, useful big-play vets like Jeremy Maclin and Jacoby Jones, and intriguing projects like Jacoby Ford and Dexter McCluster.
With so many options, the Redskins should not have to pay like they did in 2012 for Garçon and Morgan for comparable talent. And all of the options aren’t veterans. The draft is loaded at receiver. Mel Kiper said that teams will be able to get an immediate starter or at least a strong contributor at the position as late as the third or fourth round. Mike Mayock said that this is the deepest draft for receivers he’d ever seen.
So, if the Redskins or any other team looking for a receiver isn’t inclined to pay what a veteran free agent is asking for, they can simply wait until the draft and get a potentially productive player who will carry cap numbers of under $1 million per year for the next four years.
And if the Redskins should strike out in the draft for whatever reason, there will be plenty of unemployed veterans looking for work in mid May.
There are some who might say that the Redskins have greater needs than wide receiver and they should spend their free agent dollars and higher draft picks elsewhere this year. But the smart way to build a team is to take advantage of situations like this one and strengthen a position when the market is right.