NFL Free Agents 2013: Top Skill-Position Players on the Market

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJune 11, 2016

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants runs with the ball after a catch against  Nnamdi Asomugha #24 of the Philadelphia Eagles  in action during their game against the at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL free-agency period doesn't start until Tuesday, March 12, but it's never too early to look at the upcoming free-agent crop.

This year's class features several elite players, particularly at the skill positions. Although there are many quality players available, only a few have the talent to transform franchises.

The following three players have that rare ability.


Victor Cruz (Restricted), WR, New York Giants

Cruz is a restricted free agent, so the Giants can match any offer for him. They will likely have to do that if Cruz explores his options, because there will be plenty of suitors if he expresses interest in leaving New York.

Cruz was selected to his first Pro Bowl this year after catching 86 passes (12th in the NFL) for 1,092 yards (15th in the NFL) and 10 touchdowns (tied for seventh in the NFL). He also finished in the top 20 among wide receivers with 52 catches for first downs.

Cruz didn't produce as much in 2012 as he did in 2011, but he still has a lot of great football ahead of him.

Cruz just turned 26 in November.


Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

Bowe struggled with injuries throughout the season, but he is still the second-best receiver available. And unlike Cruz, Bowe is an unrestricted free agent.

Despite missing several games with a rib injury, Bowe managed to catch 59 passes for 801 yards and three touchdowns. If he had been able to stay healthy, his numbers would have rivaled those of Cruz.

Teams shouldn't be too concerned about Bowe's injury history. He was an All-Pro selection in 2010, and at just 28 years old, he will be one of the league's top receivers for several more years.

Bowe has a unique combination of size, speed and hands. If he actually gets a good quarterback to play with, he will accomplish some amazing feats.


Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers

I was tempted to give Wes Welker the final spot here, but Jennings is younger (29 to 32), so he gets the nod.

Jennings played in just eight games this season, and he wasn't close to 100 percent in many of those. Still, he was able to rack up 36 receptions for 336 yards and four touchdowns. He has also performed well on the biggest possible stage, so you know that he is trustworthy in the postseason.

The Packers have a ton of good receivers, and they've been handing out extensions like candy, so don't be surprised if Jennings ends up elsewhere.

The Miami Dolphins could be Jennings' eventual destination (h/t James Walker, ESPN).