2010 NFL Free Agency: Top 10 Wide Receivers
After taking a look at the weak crop of unrestricted free agents at the quarterback position, we took a good look at a solid group of running backs, now finding ourselves on the wide receivers.
This is an under rated group, and could produce a few hefty, although well-deserving contracts, considering a lack of great depth in the wide receiver pool.
Of course, the play on all the restricted free agents can and will end up affecting all of the unrestricted free agents, but it's still worth taking a look.
Read on for the top 10 unrestricted free agent receivers:
1. Terrell Owens (Buffalo Bills)
There are mixed reviews on whether or not Owens is still an elite receiver, but even at 36 years old, he still showed near the end of the 2009 season that he still can play at a high level.
Can he be consistent and is he still a No. 1 receiver? That's debatable.
If he's signed as a number two, can he help anchor an elite receiving corps? I believe so.
Owens was the victim of a pathetic Buffalo offense, and at no time in 2009 did he have a quarterback throwing passes to him that will ever be confused as an elite passer.
If Owens goes to the right team and plays the right role, he could easily defend his ranking as the best free agent receiver in this year's pool.
Potential Suitors: Bills, Ravens, Bengals
2. Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Bryant has some durability concerns, but it's pretty clear that he's a borderline elite receiver if he has a good quarterback throwing to him.
He still has the speed and play-making ability to garner some good looks in free agency, and is still entering his prime. He may have to wait it out to land a big contract (and still may struggle to), but he's arguably the second-best option in this year's free agent class.
Potential Suitors: Buccaneers, Bills, Ravens, Dolphins
3. Kevin Walter (Houston Texans)
One of the more under-rated receivers the past two years, Walter began the season with an injury, and after a strong season debut, puttered during the middle of the season, as the third option behind Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels.
However, once Daniels went down, Walter's value became a bit more obvious, although Matt Schaub still (as he always has) tended to have tunnel vision in throwing most of his passes in Johnson's direction.
Walter still has adequate speed and play-making ability, and has sure hands. He runs crisp routes and is a solid red-zone option, while also having the ability to go up and fight for balls.
Simply put, this guy can make some flat-out magical plays. The only problem is, even as Houston's No. 2 guy for the past three years, he's been held back by Johnson's "awesomeness".
A change of scenery could give Walter a chance for big numbers, and in the right situation, he could easily develop into an elite number two receiver.
Potential Suitors: Texans, Redskins, Bears, Seahawks
4. Nate Burleson (Seattle Seahawks)
Burleson is still a talented receiver who could thrive in the right situation, but simply needs to prove he can be consistent and get it done on a regular basis.
However, none of the questions on his consistency and durability can be asked toward his 2009 season, in which he was easily Seattle's most effective and consistent receiver.
Burleson reportedly would love to return to Seattle with a long-term deal, but with contracts tied up in Deion Branch and the free agent bust T.J. Houshmandzadeh, that doesn't appear like a deal that is imminent.
Potential Suitors: Seahawks, Rams, Cowboys, Ravens
5. Chris Chambers (Kansas City Chiefs)
After apparently being washed up in San Diego, the 31-year old Chambers revitalized his career in just nine games with the Chiefs, totaling 40 catches for 650 yards and five touchdowns.
Chambers displayed better speed and exceptional play-making ability, although it was for a bad team and in an inconsistent offense.
He's probably not a true No. 1 receiver anymore, but last season showed the NFL that Chambers isn't done just yet. He should have earned himself a decent contract, and clearly still has the ability to make an impact in the NFL.
Potential Suitors: Chiefs, Rams, Bills, Dolphins
6. Derrick Mason (Baltimore Ravens)
If Mason decides to return (which it appears he will), there's no telling for sure what capacity Baltimore would wish for him to return in, which could tell the story as to where he finishes his career.
He could opt to try to latch on with another title contender, but if Baltimore doesn't want him back as a starter, he's more than likely done.
Mason has been rumored in some circles to only want to play one more year, while others say he just wants a decent contract, and would play a few more years.
He did show some signs of slowing down last year, but that could be in part because of Joe Flacco's injuries, and Mason's own injuries.
He still has solid speed and can make plays, so there is a market for him.
Potential Suitors: Ravens, Titans, Redskins
7. Torry Holt (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Holt had a horrible one-year stint in Jacksonville, looking slow and lacking explosiveness en route to a no-touchdown 2009.
The Jaguars are desperate for receiver help (which is why they ever signed him in the first place), so that should be a good indication of how bad he's gotten, considering they cut him.
He's still an elite route-runner and has good hands, so he could latch on somewhere.
Potential Suitors: Bears, Lions
8. Josh Reed (Buffalo Bills)
Reed is slow and can't make plays, but he has good hands and is a solid slot man.
He won't score touchdowns, either, but he can get open and pick up first downs, so still holds some moderate value somewhere as a slot guy. If no teams see him having value as a third option, this could be the beginning of the end of his career.
Potential Suitors: Bills, Jaguars, Chiefs
9. Kelley Washington (Baltimore Ravens)
Washington isn't expected back in Baltimore, and since the Ravens just signed Dante Stallworth and are expected to add more depth at the position, he's likely going elsewhere.
He doesn't have many great assets, but wasn't horrible as the Ravens third option in 2009. He could still find work operating in the slot on a receiver-needy team.
Potential Suitors: Lions, Browns, Chiefs
10. Honorable Mentions: Arnaz Battle, Marty Booker, Isaac Bruce, Domenik Hixon, Brandon Lloyd, Greg Lewis, Joey Galloway, Mike Furrey, Bobby Wade
None of these remaning receivers stood head and toe above the rest.
A few of these guys could arguably be ranked in the final two spots, but the guys who were usually known for their speed have lost it, and the rest just aren't stud options anymore (or never were).
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