NFL Rumors: 10 Wide Receivers Who Can Keep Carson Palmer in Cincinnati
The dynamic duo of Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco (soon to be Johnson) didn't turn up this past season in Cincinnati.
Whether the lack of production surprised us or not, it's pretty evident that Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer needs a more concrete option at wide receiver.
With Owens and Ochocinco obviously not the option, the Bengals definitely need to be looking for a wide receiver via trade, free agency or the NFL draft.
So who should they go after? Here are 10 flankers who could keep Carson Palmer by the river.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
North Carolina's Greg Little will be in the 2011 NFL Draft pool, despite not playing a down in 2010 due to suspensions.
Off-field issues may be a red flag, which is what Cincy will be trying to avoid, but Little should be a low key guy with plenty of motivation to stay out of trouble and work if given the opportunity.
He's just like his former teammate, Hakeem Nicks, when it comes to talent. He has great size and adjusts to the ball in the air very well.
Little looks like a second- to fourth-round pick, but he could be a project player who could take a passing offense a long way.
He's a wild-card pick here.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Green Bay's James Jones will be a free agent this offseason and may not get the pay of a top receiver from the Packers with Donald Driver and Greg Jennings in front of him on the depth chart.
But aside from occasional drops, James Jones is a big, talented receiver who could definitely start somewhere else.
He caught 50 passes for 679 yards and five touchdowns this past year.
He could be an 80-catch, 1,000-yard guy if given the chance.
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Santana Moss kind of fell off the NFL map for a few years; however, he made a nice comeback in 2010 with the Washington Redskins.
He caught 93 passes for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns.
At 5'10", he's a smaller receiver, but he's a Pro Bowl player with big play ability.
Moss could definitely liven up the Bengals passing game.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
If you need a guy who can stretch out a defense, look no further than Boise State prospect Titus Young.
The speedster receiver has had seriously impressive workouts so far and has moved up to a top five receiving prospect in the NFL draft.
Plus, Young is coming out of a pro system in Boise State.
And if you want a guy who's coached up and ready to work, taking a Bronco from the land of the blue turf is always a good idea.
Young is a projected second- to third-round receiver. If Cincinnati could get Young, as well as a wide receiver in the first round, they could fix all of their receiving problems, simply because the top five receiving prospects are that solid.
Yeah, drafting two straight wide receivers seems far fetched, but bringing Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens onto the same roster is even more of a risk in most people's eyes.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Mike Sims-Walker didn't have a huge season last year, finishing with just 43 grabs for 562 yards, but he showed signs of being a touchdown machine and helped bring David Garrard out of the dog house in Jacksonville.
He could do the same for Palmer.
He's a big guy at 6'2", 214 pounds, and is a red zone machine.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Brandon Lloyd is a big play receiver who would fit perfectly into Carson Palmer's plans.
Lloyd, who surprised everyone by leading the NFL in receiving yards last season without a solidified quarterback, is starting to look like a top player.
But Lloyd could be a financial bargain for anyone who might be able to convince Denver to trade him.
He's been a journeyman throughout his career. He made himself known for insane circus catches in San Francisco before falling off the radar for a few years.
He has not proven to be consistent, but 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns is what it is.
I say, go after him.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Want a Terrell Owens without the attitude or the age?
Well come on down to Tuscaloosa and take a look at a brand new, 2011 Julio Jones.
The Alabama junior is heading for the NFL draft and is a definite first-round pick.
He has everything you want in a physical receiver. He runs hard routes, has tons of muscle, good speed and great hands.
Jones is a very rare type of prospect, but one that appears to be a lot like Owens.
Go back and look at T.O.'s early year tapes and take out all of the plays where he drops a pass.
That's what you are likely getting with Jones.
Harry How/Getty Images
Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson will be a free agent this offseason.
This is good news, considering Jackson was a major target during the past year.
He didn't play a lot because of contract issues, which might not bode well for an organization like the Bengals, but he's a perfect fit for Carson Palmer.
The question is, could Jackson be any more content in the Bengals offense than he was with MVP candidate Philip Rivers?
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
A.J. Green is hands down the most talented receiver to enter the NFL draft since Calvin Johnson came out of Georgia Tech.
He appears to be an immediate option for any team who needs a spark on offense.
He's 6'4", 200 pounds, glides like butter in and out of routes, catches anything within a wingspan radius, runs with formidable speed and can literally adjust his body midair in ways you never thought possible.
Green has shown up going to the Bengals on many mock drafts already, and many are confident a guy like him could completely change the offense in Cincinnati.
Al Bello/Getty Images
Santonio Holmes will be a free agent this offseason.
Why not bring him back to the great state of Ohio?
If you're talking a fan-friendly option to fix the Bengals' problems, Holmes might be the best answer.
He'd be an instant fan favorite, and therefore could turn people back into believers of Carson Palmer, if productive.
Holmes was an impact player for the New York Jets in 2010. Who's to say he couldn't be even more in a city that would want to see him flourish?