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Got it! Again.
I think that offensive coordinators and quarterbacks turn into three-year-olds when it comes to wide receivers: “Oooo, look at that tall, shiny toy—I want one!”
To be fair, every quarterback should have a couple—like every woman should have a little black dress and a string of pearls. You really can’t go anywhere without them.
Ask Tom Brady. He spent the entire 2011 season with one-half of a red zone WR and Wes Welker. And they came up short.
Ask Eil Manning, who has helped build two sets of elite wide receiving corps, resulting in two Super Bowl wins.
So which shiny toys will take it to the bank in 2012?
You know he hates A.J. Smith’s guts, even if he does probably appreciate Philip Rivers. And the Chargers won’t want to pay the $12-13 million that Jackson will want.
But someone will indeed pay it. Chicago? If Jay Cutler gets a vote—yes.
I don’t even think this really qualifies as extremely “ridiculous," since the 29-year-old is young and proven.
Someone is also going to pay big for Colston. New Orleans may have to let him go, since they will be paying Brees. Remember that Colston was a low-round draft pick so this is likely his shot at a big payday.
Playing as one weapon in the enormous Saints’ offensive arsenal hurts him stats-wise, but he’ll find a buyer. The question is “Will he be this good without Drew Brees?” He should be successful, and might even be worth seven million. If he gets 10, it’s ridiculous.
(Side note: while some team is going to overpay for Colston, somebody is going to get a deal in Robert Meachem if New Orleans loses him.)
Manningham is going to get a ridiculous contract based on his Super Bowl fingertip catch. A team like the Jets is going to forget that Eli Manning had a margin of error about the size of a razor on that throw.
The Bears might reach here if they miss on Jackson. Super Bowl hype is going to help Manningham cash in—possibly at a ridiculous level. Remember, he is the third WR for Big Blue.
Burress may have lost two years of his career in jail, but the hype left over from his Super Bowl-winning touchdown will get him another contract that is too high for someone his age. I’d hire the guy—I just wouldn't pay him over $3 million. But someone will.
Johnson is the biggest risk-reward in this group. He’s young and very talented. But he has the emotional maturity of a 14-year-old.
I realize that he doesn’t exactly corner the market on wide receiving immaturity, but it’s a gamble whether he will grow up and be an A-level WR or turn into the next T.O. These guesses are why owners make the big bucks, I guess.
Jackson is the same story. But the Eagles will franchise the pouter and hope for the best—or hold out for a trade.
Speaking of Owens, the lightening-rod star spent 2011 in the Indoor Football League. I have tremendous respect for his talent and hard work, but at this point any contract would be ridiculous. Randy Moss' return to the gridiron? Ditto.
If you’re going to sign an old WR, make it Ward. You can get him for way under $4 million and his leadership alone is worth that.
Speaking of immaturity, something must still be wrong with Lloyd. I know he’s 31, but that’s not exactly Methuselah for a WR. So, why on earth would the Rams be considering letting the only decent WR they have get away? Hmmmm.
Personally, I’d keep him. Have you seen footage of this man catching a football? Circus is his middle name. Still. And the other Rams wide-receiving options are...? See what I mean?
I don’t include Wes Welker on this list because I am assuming the Pats will franchise tag him. If they don’t, Peyton Manning will want him. I also don’t include Reggie Wayne, because you know he’ll end up where Peyton ends up.