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Free Agent Fever – Wide Receivers

As of today there are 22 unrestricted unsigned WRs available in the 2010 free agency (realistically 21 since the great Issac Bruce is probably retiring).  Some of the free agents are old greats, some have yet to develop, and some are problem children.  We’ll take a look at all of them and see if they still have what it takes to play in today’s NFL.

1 Javon Walker – Walker was first drafted by the Packers in 2002.  I’m afraid that after what began as an astounding career, he would now be placed under the label ‘problem child’.  Walker had a big playoff presence in both 2002 and 2003 with the Packers.  In 2004 he had a career year with 89 receptions, 1,382 yards, and 12 TDs.  Walker had one more productive year in 2006 for the Broncos, but otherwise has become known for discontent and injury (GB), a gun fight where a fellow teammate died (DEN), and getting badly beat up in Vegas and then not performing on the field (OAK).

2 Laveranues Coles – Coles was drafted by the Jets in 2000.  He has had a stellar career with 1 Pro Bowl selection in 2003.  He has played for the Jets, Skins, and Bengals.  He has had three 1,000+ receiving seasons and several others that were close.  He has been productive his entire NFL career.  In 2009 with the Bengals he had 43 receptions for 514 yards (12 yards per catch).  Every season Coles receiving yards per catch has been a respectable 10+.

3 Marty Booker – Booker was drafted by the Bears in 1999.  He showed promise in his first 2 years and had numerous dominant performances.  In 2001 he had a 100 reception season for a cumulative 1,071 yards.  2002 was an even better year for Booker with 97 receptions and 1,189.  That year he was selected to his first and only Pro Bowl.  He was traded to the Dolphins in 2004 where he had 4 productive seasons.  In 2008 and 2009 he played with the Bears (again) and the Falcons respectively.  These last 2 seasons have not been good for Mr Booker.

4 Terrell Owens – TO was drafted by the 49ers in 1996.  In his case I’m afraid the label ‘problem child’ doesn’t due him justice.  TO for most of his career has been a full-blown DIVA.  He aroused conflict and strife at San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas and was let go from each of those organizations.  His tirades, on field antics, and media stunts are legendary.  On the other hand (lol), TO is a 6-time Pro Bowler & 5-time First-Team All-Pro.  In the last 10 years he has averaged 1,164 receiving yards per year with a pretty small standard deviation.  His last Pro Bowl selection was as recent as 2007 and last year he averaged over 15 yards per catch.

5 Torry Holt – College and NFL superstar Torrance Jabar Holt was drafted by the Rams in 1999.  He is a 7-time Pro Bowler & 1-time First-Team All-Pro.  Need I say more?  No drama here; just superb athletic ability and performance.

So, of the first 5 available free agent receivers what are my thoughts?

1)      Javon Walker – Javon gets a sincere pass.  He is past his prime and has way too much baggage.

2)      Laveranues Coles – Sign the man.  Coles has been nothing but consistent and productive.  I would definitely sign him to a short term contract (1-2 years)

3)      Marty Booker – Unfortunately, I would have to pass on Marty Booker.  His productivity has seen too much of a decline over the last 2 years.

4)      Terrell Owens – No question here, sign the man.  TO’s drama and negative energy appears to have decreased over the years.  He prides himself on his physical fitness and high performance.  He should be huge value-add on a short term basis.

5)      Torry Holt – Sign him up.  The last 2 years he has slipped from the heights of his youth.  However, he has still been very productive and probably has another good year in him.

Your thoughts?  Stay tuned for part 2 where we look at Joey Galloway, Josh Reed, Domenik Hixon, Chris Chambers, and Brandon Lloyd (if they are still available).

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