The Jaguars informed fifth-year wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker that the organization was going in a different direction regarding the receiver's impending free agency. Sims-Walker informed the public of the team's decision via twitter.
"It's official, I personally wanna thank all the fans who stuck with me in Jacksonville for the last 4 years but sorry to say my time is up!!"
Injuries kept the former UCF star from living up to his lofty potential, but nevertheless, Sims-Walker was the best wide receiver the franchise has had since Jimmy Smith retired following the 2005 season.
Sims-Walker caught 14 touchdown passes over the last two seasons and he acted as a true number one receiver, drawing extra attention from opposing defenses. That extra attention allowed second-year pro Mike Thomas to set career highs in receptions and yardage in 2010 as he led the team with 66 catches for 820 yards.
Thomas is a nice receiver, but he doesn't possess the skill set to beat rolled coverage, nor is he a legitimate deep threat. Jacksonville will likely try to fill their void in the receiving corps via free agency, where there are expected to be a few legitimate players available.
Sidney Rice, James Jones, Braylon Edwards and Malcolm Floyd could all be players of interest for Jacksonville. All four are legitimate deep threats, and only Floyd has been tagged with a restricted tender. Let's examine how each guy could fit in Jacksonville.
Sidney Rice was largely considered a bust before the arrival of Brett Favre in 2009 and Rice helped lead the Vikings to the NFC title game. After averaging just 23 receptions per season for his first two years, Rice exploded in 2009 as he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. Rice has the ability to catch the deep ball which would open up the underneath for guys like Mike Thomas and Jason Hill.
The Green Bay Packers opted not to tender wide receiver James Jones, and the Packers trash could turn into the Jaguars treasure. Jones has number one wide receiver ability as he routinely gets open and is capable of making the big play. The biggest knock on Jones has been his hands, which are inconsistent at best. Still, at 26 years old Jones likely has his best football in front of him and comes from a winning culture.
Braylon Edwards is the classic "Prima Donna" wide receiver as he does plenty of talking on the field and off. Still, Edwards is an ultra-talented player as he's earned a Pro Bowl selection during his six-year career. Edwards can catch the deep ball but will frustrate fans as he has been known to drop routine passes. Edwards has some off the field concerns, as he was suspended by the Jets last season after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. If added to the Jags, Edwards would clearly be the most talented wideout on the roster.
Finally, Malcolm Floyd is the ultimate "Tarzan-like" receiver as the 6-foot-5, 219-pounder looks great in pads, especially when running by opposing defensive backs as the Jaguars were able to see first hand this year. Floyd can catch jump balls and be a legitimate threat, but he hasn't been able to maintain a consistent level of production despite playing with one of the best quarterbacks in football in Philip Rivers. San Diego tendered the fifth-year veteran at a 1st and 3rd round level, but that could be rendered meaningless assuming the new Collective Bargaining Agreement returns free agency to four accrued seasons.
A receiving corps of Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard and Jason Hill would be considered amongst the league's weakest, and a rookie would likely not make much of an impact. The Jaguars decided to part ways with their best wide receiver and will likely need to replace him in 2011, most likely with a veteran. Any of these four players would upgrade the corps considerably.
Free Agency Offers Options At Receiver
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