Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wide Receivers Worth Getting a Look in Free Agency

Now wouldn't he look good in a Seahawks jersey?

    Let the off-season speculation continue. This has little do with the players currently on the roster, but entirely to do with those the Seahawks should be trying to add to it. At the wide receiver position more specifically. There is no shortage of big name talent in this years free agent class, and the Seahawks haven't exactly been shy when it comes to handing out big pay cheques to wide receivers. Sure, some of them haven't worked out (T.J. Houshmandzadeh) or have, just not nearly as well as planned i.e. Sidney Rice. That being said, this is the year to dish out big money at wide receiver. So many worthy candidates. Below I'll list some targets that should be on the Seahawks radar, or preferably be signed. In some cases...

Dwayne Bowe: He'll command a lot of coin, but he'll be worth every penny. He fits the Pete Carroll mold as a tall receiver being 6'2. Not necessarily towering, but tall enough. His last season was the second least productive of his career, but he did only play thirteen games. All thirteen with either Brady Quinn or Matt Cassell throwing him the ball, keep that in mind folks. There's a lot to like about Dwayne Bowe, he has great hands he's fast and he's a red zone machine. He led the league in touchdown receptions just two seasons ago. Really hoping the Seahawks pursue Bowe.

Greg Jennings: More likely to hit free agency than Dwayne Bowe, as a matter of fact it's all but guaranteed. Only problem is he'll want around the same amount of money, and I'm not sure he can produce at the same level as Dwayne Bowe. Also have to wonder how fond he is of Seattle following fail gate, and the hail mary that never was. Another red flag regarding Greg Jennings is his health. Lingering groin issues kept him out of action for a big chunk of last season, and made him much less effective when he did come back. Wouldn't be upset if the Seahawks signed him, would rather they took a pass though.

Mike Wallace: Count Wallace as somewhat of a wild card. Word out of Pittsburgh during training camp was that he was trying to get Larry Fitzgerald kind of money, which I beg the Seahawks not to give him. If his demands have dropped to something more commensurate with his production, which saw a steep decline this season, he might be worth a look. He could very well be the fastest wide receiver in the league; maybe even the fastest player period. He would definitely stretch the field for the Seahawks and create a lot more space for every other receiver. He has a hard time making catches in traffic though, and disappears for long stretches of time. Would be happy with Wallace coming to town, with the right contract.

Below you will find a few less obvious, maybe less costly options at wide receiver in free agency. There are some... dare I say it, peculiar picks down here. These players might at the very least be worth an invite to training camp though, or a really cheap short contract.

Mike Williams: Probably going to get a lot of raised eyebrows, and scratched heads for this one, but hear me out. With less pressure, a smaller contract and a better quarterback Mike Williams might be able to thrive, and revive his career a second time with these Seahawks. His last season as a Seahawk was just awful, but how could you expect any less with Tarvaris Jackson throwing the football? His average yardage per catch actually went up that season though, if you do want to try and find positives. If he can get invited to training camp and show up in good shape, unlike last season where he was blimp esque, why not give him a look? Their was no falling out between him and Pete Carroll, and oddly enough he still has that height thing Carroll is so fond of.

Plaxico Burress: If Terrell Owens and Antonio Bryant could land a training camp tryout last season, then why not somebody who's taller than both and probably has more left in the tank this season? I had no problems with bringing either of those two in last year, but couldn't help but wonder why Burress didn't get an invite. He didn't have a great first season coming out of jail, but then again, Mark Sanchez was his quarterback. The biggest issue with his game in New York was the fact that he couldn't get separation from opposing defenders. It was his first season back from jail though, so maybe he's in better shape now. He did help the Jets with their red zone efficiency, and Russell Wilson is amazing in the red zone. Why not give him an extra target, especially one that's 6'5?

Mohamed Massaquoi: Probably the sketchiest of all my suggestions, I'm sure there aren't many of you who want the Seahawks to pick him up. Based on the stats, I can't really blame you. He only averages 437 yards a season, but I think that has a lot to do with awful quarterbacking more than anything else. Not only has poor quarterback play held him back for most of his career, but there has been way too much asked of him from day one. He has the potential to develop into an almost capable wide receiver, but turning him into your number one in his first season with nobody to get him the ball? Not so smart. Maybe he could contribute in a better way with much less asked of him. A reliable depth option at the very least.

I feel that Dwayne Bowe is a cut above every option I've listed, and every option in free agency. Only problem is there are rumblings that Kansas City might resign him, so other options might have to be explored. Hope you enjoyed getting a look at the players that I think either are on the Seahawks radar, or maybe should be.

J.D. Burke

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