NFL Free Agent Rumors: 6 Most Dangerous Targets and Where They Could Land
If your NFL team is looking for a wide receiver this offseason, you should be one happy camper. This is probably the strongest class of free agent wide receivers in the last 20 years.
You are looking at multiple No. 1 receivers, a ton of solid complementary guys and a whole host of productive slot players.
That may have lowered the talent level at this position, but it is still loaded.
This article is going to give you possible landing spots for the six top wide receivers set to hit free agency on Tuesday.
6. Randy Moss, Free Agent
A league source confirmed reports that Moss looked great, saying: "My sources say he just destroyed it. He looked just amazing."
Fox Sports' Jay Glazer added that he heard from several sources that Moss "lit it up" and "looked like the old Randy" while running about 45 routes.
If that is indeed the case, you can expect a lot of interest in the veteran wide receiver.
Moss is traveling to the Bay Area tonight and plans to meet with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. This makes a lot of sense considering the 49ers' wide receiver issues during their NFC Championship Game loss to the New York Giants.
There promises to be other teams interested in the services of Moss if he doesn't sign with one of these two in the next couple days.
While San Francisco seems to be an intriguing option, I am not sure that Moss fits what they are attempting to build on the field and in the locker room.
Predicted Destination: New Orleans Saints
5. Mario Manningham, New York Giants
Mario Manningham has the talent to be a a really good complementary guy in the NFL. After all, this is exactly what he has been for the last couple seasons with the New York Giants.
He just isn't going to be a true No. 1 receiver moving forward.
The venerable Peter King put Manningham's chances of returning to the Giants at less than 10 percent, a number I could buy into. They are in a pretty bad salary cap situation, already have two top-tier wide receivers and need to upgrade at other positions on the team.
It appears that he will be calling another city home in 2012. What are the options?
One report suggests that Manningham is going to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when all is said and done. This seems to hold some ground to me. The Buccaneers could definitely use some more weapons in the passing game for Josh Freeman. They also have about $65 million to spend in free agency.
Pure conjecture here, but there are other teams that are sure to get into the bidding for his services. The Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens come to mind.
Predicted Destination: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints
Some people have indicated that Marques Colston is a product of the New Orleans Saints pass-happy offense. While this might be true to an extent, he has proven himself to be a pretty damn good wide receiver.
You can only take credit away from someone so long before coming to the conclusion that he might actually be responsible for his own success.
If the Saints are unable to retain his services, you are going to find a lot of interest in Colston in the open market.
There haven't been a lot of rumors about potential landing spots, but Jason LaCanfora over at the NFL Network has suggested that the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars are all possibilities.
At this point, I would hedge my bets that Colston returns to the Saints. It is going to be incredibly hard for them to match a strong offer for the free agent receiver, but the fit just seems to be too good at this point.
With that said, the free agent market can be a tricky place for teams attempting to retain their own players. If a team like the Vikings or Jaguars come in with a really strong offer, Colston could be on the next flight out of the Bayou.
Predicted Destination: New Orleans Saints
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
Reggie Wayne nearly accumulated another 1,000 yards season with the Indianapolis Colts. This was an amazing feat considering who he had throwing the ball to him for the majority of 2011.
He now hits the free agent market at the very same time as his longtime quarterback, Peyton Manning. This promises to be an extremely interesting situation.
It would seem that the two are a package deal at this point.
While that may be the case, Wayne is going to have a lot of different suitors out there, and they might not match up exactly with what Manning is thinking.
The San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings could all be fits. None of those teams have shown the slightest interest in Manning at this point.
For his part, Wayne has suggested that he would love to play with Manning in Miami. The Dolphins are scheduled to meet with the future Hall of Fame quarterback tomorrow, so we might get an idea what is going to happen in rather short order.
Predicted Destination: Miami Dolphins or wherever Peyton Manning goes
2. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers
This is where it gets extremely interesting. Mike Wallace was given a first-round tender by the Pittsburgh Steelers, which means any team that signs him away from them would have to give up that draft pick.
With that said, it would seem to be worth the bounty considering how Wallace has performed in each of the last two seasons.
With the news that the 2012 NFL salary cap is going to be set at just over $120 million, the Steelers now face the real possibility that Wallace will sign a offer sheet they will not be able to match.
Even after making dramatic cuts to their 2012 roster, Pittsburgh still finds itself in an unenviable cap situation.
This leaves the door open that some team will be able to swoop up the young, talented receiver.
The San Francisco 49ers are said to be considering an attempt to obtain Wallace, which makes perfect sense. They are going to be looking at the wide receiver position early in the 2012 draft. Why not go with a player that has already proven he can get it done in the NFL?
The 49ers also have the 30th pick in the draft, which is a lesser bounty than most teams would have to give up in order to acquire Wallace. They also have ample salary cap room.
I think that the right person or the right piece for those guys could put them over the top. All they need is one more piece ... most definitely, those are Super Bowl-contending teams.
In short, if San Francisco decides this is the path they want to take, the Steelers are going to be hard-pressed to stop them.
Predicted Destination: San Francisco 49ers
1. Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers
Vincent Jackson finally hits the free agent market after a few years of bitter battles between the talented receiver and the San Diego Chargers.
He couldn't have hit the market at a better time.
Whenever Daniel Snyder is around with boatloads of cap room, someone is going to strike it rich.
ESPN is reporting that the Redskins have made Jackson their top priority this offseason after acquiring the No. 2 overall pick and Robert Griffin III Friday night.
With over $45 million to spend in free agency, there is no doubt in my mind that Washington is the front-runner to land Jackson.
The Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers have also been linked to him.
Predicted Destination: Washington Redskins