NFL Roster Cuts: Receiver-Needy Teams Should Target Ex-Patriots

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 9:    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Jabar Gaffney  chat on the sidelines in a preseason game against the Orleans Saints in the first half at Gillette Stadium on August 9, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Are you an NFL team in need of a wide receiver? Would you like to add a veteran presence to your offense? Does your quarterback need someone to throw to?

Well then, I suggest you look no further than a few wide receivers who were cut this year by the New England Patriots.

Looking for a steady veteran who was the top target for the Washington Redskins a year ago, catching 68 passes for 947 yards and five touchdowns?

Well then, you'll want to give Jabar Gaffney a shot. Sure, he couldn't make it with the Patriots this season, but he'll be a nice security blanket for your quarterback.

Or you could go with a guy who actually cut it in New England last year, managing 51 receptions for 702 yards and five touchdowns despite being behind Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Does that sound good to you?

If so, Deion Branch, come on down! He may be getting up there in years, but he can still produce. Plus, he has the experience of two Super Bowl victories, so he knows how to handle himself in the biggest games.

Or maybe you need someone who brings a more specialized game to your team. Perhaps you want a downfield burner to stretch defenses and create space underneath for your other receivers.

If so, you might want to give Donte' Stallworth a chance to prove himself. Sure, he's lost a step and has just 41 receptions, 561 yards and three touchdowns in the last three seasons he's played, but it couldn't hurt to kick the tires, could it?

If you are the Miami Dolphins or St. Louis Rams, the answer to that question is no, it couldn't hurt. For those teams, a veteran wide receiver is exactly what young quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill and Sam Bradford need.

And honestly, for a team who simply is looking for a reliable third or fourth option in the passing game, both Gaffney and Branch are worth adding. They'll come cheap at this point, and you know they can produce if given the chance.

It must nice to have the arsenal of weapons that the Patriots have, enabling them to drop these receivers. It must make defenses around the league shiver in fear. But the Patriots' scraps could be another team's treasure.

If I needed a wide receiver, I'd start there.


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