Things change through the years. People get older, players slow down, and respect and loyalty dwindle as production falters. But even then, you’d think being a respectable wide receiver who has made numerous plays in your career would lead to interest from multiple teams when you hit free agency.
As some players have had to find out, nobody likes to pay an older, wiser, consistent player, when there are tons of speedy, hungry, athletic young guns ready to take less money and contribute however they can. Teams thing maybe they can even find a lucky star hidden in between the masses of free agent receivers.
There are tons of great receivers trying to find homes.
WR Greg Jennings: 59 receptions, 742 yards and 6 touchdowns. Respectable numbers considering the lack of good quarterback play. Things got better towards the end of the year when QB Teddy Bridgewater took over the starting position. Jennings caught 4 of his 6 touchdowns in the final 6 games of the year but failed to reach the 100 yard mark all year. He hasn’t been the same since his injury on his final year with the Packers.
Michael Crabtree: 68 receptions, 698 yards, 4 touchdowns. One of the most lethal college receivers of all time, Crabtree erupted in 2012 with QB Colin Kaepernick, but has since not been anywhere close to the player he was. He didn’t even get an offer from the Oakland Raiders nor the Miami Dolphins. The things CB Richard Sherman can do to a person go beyond the game.
Wes Welker: 9 games played, 34 receptions, 282 yards. Coming off a 10 touchdown season with Peyton Manning, Welker couldn’t stay healthy at all. Welker exemplifies toughness, of that there is no doubt, but his body might be giving out on him. His hand are as reliable as ever however and I can only expect for a team with a need for a safety net at slot receiver to pick him up closer to or after the NFL Draft.
Reggie Wayne: Oh how they years pass. A Colts legend. 64 receptions, 779 yards and 2 touchdowns in his final season as a Colt. Wayne doesn’t have the same explosiveness he has always had and he is finding it tougher to find separation from cornerbacks. His hands are as good as they have always been and with good quarterback play, there is not a better guy in the market to have.
– Hakeem Nicks: 27 year old wide receiver who can’t find his explosiveness back but still has the height and time to recover from it.
– Mike Williams: 28 year old with great potential but plagued by injuries.
– Jeremy Ross: Looked great with the Detroit Lions, just needs a team which can use him more effectively than behind players like Megatron and Tate.
– Greg Little: He is definitely young so there is still hope for him. If he can get over his drop trouble .