NFL Free Agents 2011: 5 WRs Who Could Replace Sidney Rice for Minnesota Vikings
Replacing a guy like Rice won't be easy (just look at those sick dreadlocks) but their are guys still on the free agent market who could step in and own the No. 1 receiving job for the purple and gold.
With the addition of Donovan McNabb, the Vikings clearly are dismissing any talk of rebuilding and want to win now.
Lets take a look at five guys who could become the Vikings No. 1 receiver and Donovan McNabb's new best friend in 2011.
P.S.....Before you read, Randy Moss is not on the list; its time to stop living in the past people.
Steve Smith, New York Giants
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Smith, a former third round draft pick out of USC, had his breakout season in 2009 where he had 1,220 yards, 107 receptions and 7 touchdowns.
Smith was on his way to his second consecutive 1000 yard season before injury struck. He hurt his knee, scary stuff for any wide receiver, but his fundamentals are what makes him enticing.
Smith would be a great possession receiver for the Vikings and a reliable third down target for McNabb. He won't blaze by anyone with his speed and he's not the tallest guy in the world (5'11') but he catches the ball and does not mistakes. No one likes mistakes, not even the Vikings I promise.
Smith won't command a huge pay-day due to injury concerns and he probably will look to play slot for a new team. The Vikings already have their slot receiver in Percy Harvin, but if the Giants sign Plaxico do not be surprised to see Smith jump at the chance to be a No. 1 on an offensively inclined Minnesota squad.
Braylon Edwards, New York Jets
The reactions from Vikings fans are clearly mixed when the thought of Braylon Edwards donning his No. 17 jersey in purple and gold are discussed around the water cooler.
There is no doubt that the arrogant Edwards is an extremely talented wide receiver when he focuses on football, and not racking up $250,000 bar tabs. (or is that awesome?)
Edwards was recently dumped by the New York Jets when they decided to go and resign Santonio Holmes and let Edwards see other teams.
The break-up crushed Braylon, who put up 900 yards last season as a No. 2 receiver, and caused him to go into a tweeting frenzy of ego-crushing emotions.
The Vikings would love to bring in Edwards as he would be a huge target for McNabb. Another plus, is that his large physical frame would compliment the Vikings speedy receivers like Harvin and newly added, Devin Aromashodu and allow them to excel.
If the Vikings are willing to spend the money, and Edwards would command a lot of it, then look for Edwards to take the bait and start a new relationship in Minnesota.
James Jones, Green Bay Packers
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I am surprised as most of you are right now to see James Jones on this list, but anytime the Vikings have a chance to take a Packer is good news for me.
James Jones is the least known guy on this list and the least productive but it does not mean he is the worst option.
In 2010, Jones put up 50 receptions, and 679 receiving yards as the No. 2 receiver behind Greg Jennings for Green Bay. He was an intricate weapon for quarterback Aaron Rodgers and helped the Packers win the Super Bowl; a feat the Vikings have been looking to accomplish since the organization started.
In Minnesota, Jones would be given the ability to finally be the premiere No. 1 receiver which has to be enticing for a career back-up.
He may not be the sexiest pick to have as a No. 1 receiver, but he has good size and will thrive with the opportunity of being the star.
Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers, clearly thinks the guy has some star potential when previously stating that re-signing Jones should be Packers "number one priority".
A reliable veteran receiver, who you can snag from your biggest rival? Sounds like a good deal to me.
Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers
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Look to see Malcolm Floyd in Minnesota shortly; he is the best fit on this list for the Vikings.
Floyd is a huge receiver at 6'5" who would thrive under the opportunity to be the No. 1 guy in Minnesota.
Floyd jumped at the opportunity to finally be the No. 1 receiver in San Diego last season as Vincent Jackson held out for most of the year. In only 11 games last season, he reeled in 37 catches for 717 yards. That's an average of almost 20 yards per catch; similar to any former Vikings receivers we know?
He may not have huge career numbers but I am willing to believe back to back seasons of 700 yards while averaging 17 yards a catch is not your ordinary run of the mill "fluke".
There is no reason to believe the 30 year old Floyd would command a huge asking price or any indication that he would oppose playing for Minnesota.
Viking fans, look to welcome this behemoth to Valhalla and get used to seeing him in the end zone.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
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Am I the only one salivating at a Larry Fitzgerald homecoming? The guy is a freak of nature and could you meet a better person? All he does is donate to charities, catch touchdowns and rock the sweetest dreadlocks; he would be a god-send to the Vikings.
Fitzgerald is the only guy on this list who is not currently a free agent but he will be in 2012. He would take a pretty large asking price, but if the Vikings are willing to wait a year then do not be surprised if they strike a huge offer to bring Larry home.
Fitzgerald puts up huge numbers year in and year out, it doesn't matter who's throwing him the ball (Derek Anderson?). He has racked up four straight seasons of 1000+ receiving yards and the 27 year old has shown no signs of slowing down.
Everyone knows that Fitzgerald's home is in Minnesota. He grew up as a ball-boy for the Vikings idolizing Cris Carter as he dreamed of being an NFL superstar. Well now, he is the NFL superstar and the Vikings would be thrilled to bring Larry back in a more prominent role than his previous ball-boy duties.
If Larry were to leave Arizona, then you would have to think his ideal destination would be Minnesota. With Ponder looking strong for the future and Adrian Peterson in the backfield, Fitzgerald would make the Vikings one of the scariest offenses in the NFL. He probably would help secure Peterson's stay in Minnesota for a long time as well; sounds like a great deal.