NFL free agency is just around the corner and teams will have some interesting choices if they are in the market for a wide receiver.
NFL teams in the market for a veteran wide receiver to try and get over the hump have some intriguing options this offseason. There are a couple of marquee names at the top who may not even hit the free agent market if their respective teams franchise them. There’s also a couple of potential diamonds in the rough if the top end of this class stays with their teams.
Wide receivers who switch teams can sometimes have a difficult first season with their new squad. It’s a big adjustment to not only learn a brand new system but to develop chemistry with a new quarterback. Training camp is all well and good but nothing replaces repetition in games when there’s a real pass rush and the play is moving at warp speed. Even if the learning curve can be steep, the potential reward is massive.
Adding a receiver who is that perfect fit can change an entire offense. It opens up the running game and just make the offense run much smoother. Any team on the hunt this off-season has some really good options for any type of budget. The class will only get better if two players are not franchise tagged by their teams.
5. Paul Richardson
2017 Stats – 80 targets, 44 receptions, 703 yards, 6 touchdowns
Seahawks receiver Paul Richardson picked a great season to set career highs across the board. He appears on the verge of what could be a major breakout after exploding in the Seattle offense this past season. Now, he may not ever be the most consistent player week to week. His strength seems to be stretching the field, as evidenced by his 16 yards per reception. Any team looking for a new number one option probably shouldn’t count on Richardson for that role. However, he can be a very good number two option in a pass heavy attack.
The interesting factor that possibly held Richardson back this season is the Seattle offensive line really struggled through much of the season. Russell Wilson was on the run pretty often and that’s not the best environment for a deep threat. To take full advantage of the skill set, the quarterback needs to be able to take five and seven step drops. Wilson sometimes had two or three rushers in his face when he took his third step.
As good as Wilson is, even he can sometimes struggle with accuracy when so he’s pressured so much. Richardson will likely be at his best when he’s in an offense that can scheme him open as a secondary option and give the quarterback time to hit him in the intermediate to deep parts of the field.
Potential Fits – Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers