2012 NFL Free Agency: Vincent Jackson and New York Jets' Best Options at WR

Danny Paskas@DannyPaskasSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2012

2012 NFL Free Agency: Vincent Jackson and New York Jets' Best Options at WR

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    Even before the official free agency period began, Marques Colston, a possible target of the New York Jets, is already off the board as he agreed to a five-year contract with the New Orleans Saints earlier today.

    And he's getting paid. According to ESPN, the deal is worth $40 million and includes about $19 million in guarantees. Losing out on Colston may have been for the best, as he proved to be very expensive.

    Colston's deal has to make you wonder that if he can command that much money, what will Vincent Jackson command?

    After losing Plaxico Burress in free agency, the Jets wide receiving corps leaves much to be desired. With Santonio Holmes as the No. 1 receiver and second-year wideout Jeremy Kerley as the No. 2, New York must make a move in free agency or the draft.

    The Jets need a prototypical, tall receiver who can be a red-zone threat, as well as one who can stretch the field to play opposite the shorter Holmes. Re-signing Patrick Turner, who has the height and potential to be such a player, just might not be enough.

    With Colston gone, the 6’5’’ Jackson moves to the top of the list.

    At 29 years old, Jackson had 60 receptions for 1,106 yards and nine touchdowns last season. While averaging 18.4 yards a catch, he is the deep threat that can be what the Jets need.

Reggie Wayne

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    At 33 years old and already having 11 seasons behind him, Reggie Wayne still remains productive. Even without Peyton Manning as his quarterback last season, he had 75 receptions for 960 yards and four touchdowns.

    In 2010, Wayne had 111 receptions for 1,355 yards and six touchdowns.

    While he's not very tall, as he's only 6'0'', he continues to be an elite receiver in the league.

    Due to his age, he will not be able to command the money that Marques Colston got or what Vincent Jackson is going to get.

    Wayne can be a very good complement to the Santonio Holmes while also playing the mentor role to Patrick Turner or a receiver the New York Jets might pick up in the draft.

Brandon Lloyd

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    Brandon Lloyd has gotten better with age. After coming into the league in 2003, when he only had 14 receptions for 212 yards, his best season came seven years later in 2010, when he earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl with 77 receptions for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns.

    In 2010, he legitimized himself as a deep threat, as he averaged 18.8 yards per catch.

    Last season, Lloyd was with Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos before being traded to the St. Louis Rams.

    Playing with in inaccurate quarterback in Tebow could have been very useful if the New York Jets are able to sign Lloyd, as he will be the recipient of another inaccurate quarterback's passes in Mark Sanchez.

Mario Manningham

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    Mario Manningham only played in 12 games last season while battling injuries. In those 12 games, he had 39 receptions for 523 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 13.4 yards per catch.

    In 2010, Manningham had 60 receptions for 944 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 15.7 yards per catch.

    While his numbers are relatively decent, his coming-out party came in this season's Super Bowl. In the Super Bowl, Manningham had five receptions for 73 yards, as well as the catch of the game.

    At 6'0'', he does not have the ideal size, but he may excel with the New York Jets since he will be the first or second option for Mark Sanchez.

    With the New York Giants' deep receiving corps, Manningham sometimes got lost and was rarely a priority, as he was below Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz on the depth chart.

Pierre Garcon

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    Before last season, Pierre Garçon might have been viewed as a product of Peyton Manning's ability to make a decent receiver look like a good one.

    But that was before last season. Without Peyton Manning, Garçon had a career year with 70 receptions for 947 yards and six touchdowns.

    Just like Mario Manningham and Brandon Lloyd, Garçon is only 6'0''. But, since he is only 25 years old and entering his fifth season, he is worth acquiring if the price is reasonable.

Robert Meachem

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    Robert Meachem is a 2007 former first-round pick by New Orleans Saints who got lost in a deep wide receiver depth chart.

    In a system where Drew Brees is content with spreading the ball around, Meachem has become a bit of an unknown commodity after four seasons with New Orleans.

    In his last three seasons with the Saints, Meachem had seasons with 45, 44 and 40 receptions. For his career, Meachem is averaging 16.1 yards per catch.

    At 6'2'', he is two inches taller than Brandon Lloyd, Mario Manningham or Pierre Garcon. He is also only 27 years old and is in need of a change in scenery.

    If the New York Jets lose out on the household-name receivers, Meachem could be a very nice consolation prize.