Evan Silva

Offseason Low Down

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The 2011 Wide Receiver Market

Friday, May 20, 2011

This is the third part in our 2011 Offseason Market Analysis.

For more position breakdowns, click here:

The Quarterback Market
The Running Back Market

Wesseling will roll out tight ends next.

Surefire Free Agent Wide Receivers

1. Braylon Edwards, Jets

Scouting Report: Much is made of Edwards' penchant for drops, but few receivers separate downfield consistently enough to be in position for such mammoth vertical strikes. He posted a career-best 17.06 yards per catch average last season, and seven touchdowns were Edwards' most since 2007. He dropped just four passes all year, though two occurred on Week 13 Monday Night Football for the world to see. Edwards is not a physical wideout and can be penalty prone. He is a difference-making, game-breaking vertical threat with dominant natural ability.

Availability: Edwards has six accrued years and is assured of hitting unrestricted free agency. His market could be monstrous if four- and five-year free agents like Sidney Rice and Santonio Holmes are restricted. Edwards has indicated that he's willing to consider a hometown discount to stay with the Jets, although Holmes is GM Mike Tannenbaum's priority. We suspect Edwards will resurface elsewhere, capitalizing on his last chance for a blockbuster deal at age 28.

Prediction: Bears on a five-year, $40 million contract.

2. Santana Moss, Redskins

Scouting Report: Moss is 32, but provided reason to think he has two or three big years left by changing his game under Mike Shanahan. Used in the slot more than ever, Moss responded with a career-high 93 catches and the second best yardage total of his career. Moss can still get deep, and he'll enter free agency having shown impressive versatility. Though no longer a No. 1 receiver in the truest sense, Moss can play in any offense and is highly elusive in the open field. He is a "character guy" and has missed just two games in the last four seasons.

Availability: Moss' contract has voided, though his preference is to stay in D.C. The Skins drafted three wideouts, which suggests they're prepared to move on. Due to his age and lack of recent playoff appearances, Moss may be willing to take less to play for a contender. He'll be a quality locker-room addition, and unlike Steve Smith won't cost draft pick compensation.

Prediction: Patriots on a three-year, $16 million contract.

3. Terrell Owens, Bengals

Scouting Report: T.O. is going on 38, an age at which most receivers have already fallen "off the cliff." Owens has held off Father Time with incredible work ethic, although a torn left meniscus suffered in Week 15 could spell the beginning of the end. Still dominant against single teams, Owens capitalized as Chad Ochocinco garnered the majority of defensive attention with the Bengals last season. T.O. had surgery on December 20, and if it gets him back to the form he showed last year, he has plenty of on-field value left. The off-field stuff will keep his market soft.

Availability: Owens, who played on a one-year deal in Cincinnati, hopes to play two more in the NFL. He's publicly expressed interest in the Jets. The good news is that Owens will come as cheaply as ever. The bad news is few teams will deem him worth the risk. We suspect he won't sign anywhere until late in camp. If there is no camp, he may not sign until after Week 1.

Prediction: Redskins on a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

4. Mike Sims-Walker, Jaguars

Scouting Report: A major disappointment in Jacksonville last year, Sims-Walker developed a diva reputation despite lacking the resume to justify it. The 26-year-old was billed as a complainer and off-field character risk who's also prone to injury. Since missing his entire first season due to the aftereffects of a college ACL tear, Sims-Walker has yet to play a 16-game season. That said, when motivated and healthy MSW has shown playmaking ability. He's caught 14 touchdown passes in his last 27 starts and averaged 13.51 yards per reception in his career.

Availability: The Jags washed their hands of Sims-Walker by failing to extend the former third-round pick a restricted free agent tender in February. Loose reports have connected him to the Rams and Texans. Ideally, a team would sign Sims-Walker to a one-year, "prove-it" contract that he could parlay into a multi-year commitment after proving his health and maturity.

Prediction: Dolphins on a one-year, $2.25 million contract.

continue story »
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva

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