2012 NFL Free Agents: 5 Receivers Not Named Vincent Jackson Chicago Can Sign
All I have heard and read the past few days is that the Chicago Bears must sign Vincent Jackson.
On Monday the Chargers decided not to use the franchise tag on Jackson for the second straight season, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Jackson is everything you want in a No. 1 receiver. He has all the physical gifts being fast and having good hands, and he is a monster at 6'5" and 230 lbs.
With all that being said, he is 29 years old and comes with some baggage from a few off-the-field incidents.
So what if Bears general manager Phil Emery decides his money would be better spent on a different receiver, or maybe someone like Mario Williams?
Well, here are five receivers not named Vincent Jackson who might become Jay Cutler's new favorite target.
You are probably asking yourself a question: Didn't Randy Moss retire?
Well, yes he did, but he is attempting a comeback and actually had a workout with the New Orleans Saints this week.
So how much does Moss have left in the tank?
Who knows, but there is no denying his ability when he is motivated and happy. While his 2010 season was a disaster as he split time with three teams, his 2009 season would make you drool.
So how much does the 35-year-old, 6'4" freak have left?
I don't know, but it probably won't cost much to find out.
Pierre Garcon will turn 26 during training camp and his career arrow is absolutely pointing up.
Garcon had his best season as a pro last year and that was without Peyton Manning throwing to him. Over the last three seasons he has 184 catches for nearly 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns.
After playing behind Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, Garcon might be ready to step into the spotlight as the main guy.
Garcon might not have the ideal size like Jackson at being only 6', but he has played the role of possession receiver and deep threat. In 2009 he averaged more than 16 yards a catch.
If Garcon does decide to leave the Colts and doesn't follow Manning, he might be a perfect fit in the Windy City.
Unlike everyone else on this list, Mike Wallace is not an unrestricted free agent.
Wallace is a restricted free agent, which allows the Steelers to match any offer he receives. If they decide not to match the offer they would receive a first-round pick.
In 48 games Wallace has been pretty impressive with 171 catches for more than 3,200 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also has a career average of 18.7 yards per catch.
The question the Bears have to ask is if they would rather have Wallace or a rookie like Michael Floyd from Notre Dame?
Wallace, like Garcon, is only 6', so not the big target the fans may want, but his production is undeniable.
While Robert Meachem is the big target everyone might like, the question with him is if he can be the go-to guy.
Meachem has been part of that spread-out offense in New Orleans and has never had more than 45 catches in a season.
In four seasons with the Saints he has 141 catches for more than 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns.
At 6'2" he would be the the tallest receiver on the roster. Technically Roy Williams is an inch taller, but most people don't expect him to return this season.
He would provide an upgrade over the current receiver group but might be better suited for a No. 2 role rather than the go-to guy.
Now if you are looking for a go-to guy, a true No. 1, you can just look at Meachem's teammate with the Saints.
That's right, Vincent Jackson isn't the only big-time receiver on the market.
At 6'4" Colston is just an inch shorter than Jackson, but he is a year younger than the Chargers receiver.
Colston has made himself a No. 1 receiver and has had five 1,000-yard seasons in his six seasons. Not bad for a seventh-round pick.
For his career he has grabbed 48 touchdowns and set an NFL record for the most catches in his first two seasons with 168.
With the Saints using the franchise tag on Drew Brees and having guard Carl Nicks, as an unrestricted free agent there is a good chance Colston will be switching teams.
Colston also comes without the off-the-field baggage that Jackson has and may come a little cheaper.
Adding someone like Colston and then drafting Michael Floyd would give Cutler the weapons to make the Bears an elite offense.
Let's hope the Bears sign at least one of these guys or there could be a fan revolt.