2008 Free Agency Preview-Wide Receivers

Teams looking for depth at wide receiver shouldn't have any problem finding some in free agency. However, teams won't find much top-end talent available at the position to sign.

Wide Receivers Who Should Compete for a Starting Role

Randy Moss/New England Patriots (UFA) - The veteran wideout had one of his best seasons ever at the position in the history of the league and despite rumors to the contrary, the team couldn't be happier with him. In fact, Moss rehabbed his pre-season hamstring injury quite well and was ready to go right way to start the season and he performed at a high level through the end of the regular season.

But those who know Moss well say he's only motivated to play well in good situations on really good football teams. So you can see what happens when he's in a less than perfect situation (see the Oakland Raiders).

The feeling is New England will either use their franchise tag on him or will find a way to get him signed to a new deal by the time free agency starts.

Bernard Berrian/Chicago Bears (UFA) - Berrian is an ascending player who has improved in all facets of his game the last few seasons. He's a true deep threat who is best used in a deep passing game. He will drop an occasional pass but he makes up for it with his ability to beat coverage down field. He's a solid second receiver for a team that is looking for a down field receiving threat.

D.J. Hackett/Seattle Seahawks (UFA) - Hackett is a prototypical West Coast offense wide receiver. He has excellent size and run after the catch skills. He'll receive good attention in free agency and has a nice upside. But scouts question whether he can be a true No. 1 receiver.

Jerry Porter/Oakland Raiders (UFA) - Porter has excellent size and good run after the catch ability. But NFL executives question his work ethic and his consistent production from week to week.

Justin Gage/Tennessee Titans (UFA) - Gage was one of the few bright spots for a Titan offense which struggled to find a passing game last season. Gage has excellent size and runs better than his listed time. However, he'll lose the battle against stronger defensive backs from time to time which is why some teams see him as a marginal starter.

Other Receivers Who Could Receive Interest in a Backup Role

Devery Henderson/New Orleans Saints (UFA) - Henderson is one of the NFL's fastest receivers but he isn't part of the good hands people, either. While Henderson caught only 20 passes last season, dropped 10 passes. Dropped passes has been a problem for the speedy receiver over his four years of play which is why, despite a career 20.2 yards per catch average, he'll only find work as a backup, rotational receiver.

Bryant Johnson/Arizona Cardinals (UFA) - Johnson's forte is running after the catch and he has good size. But Johnson's game also isn't sudden or explosive in any way which is why he'll likely only get offers to be a backup (No. 3) receiver.

Jabar Gaffney/New England Patriots (UFA) - He surprised scouts last season with the ability to play outside while still being able to produce solid numbers. Gaffney is a solid option for a team that is looking for a No. 3 receiver.

David Patten/New Orleans Saints (UFA) - After seemingly being brought back from oblivion, Patten resurfaced in a big way last season with 54 receptions--his most since the 2002 season. Patten still has very good speed and possesses good hands. He's certainly capable of handling a No. 3 role for a team.

Nate Washington/Pittsburgh Steelers (RFA) - The former undrafted free agent has good size and speed but also has inconsistent hands. He can get deep against most coverages and worked well as Pittsburgh's No. 3 receiver last season.

Samie Parker/Kansas City Chiefs (UFA) - The former collegiate track star never really realized his potential after starting 31 games over the last three seasons. Parker will likely get attention from teams that are looking for depth with some speed at receiver.

Drew Carter/Carolina Panthers (UFA) - The tall receiver does one thing really well--he gets deep. The problem is Carter really isn't looked at as a physical receiver despite his large frame. He has some upside for a team that is looking for a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver.

Keary Colbert/Carolina Panthers (UFA) - The former second-round pick, despite possessing a lot of talent, has mostly been an underachiever through four years of play. Colbert's rookie season showed some promise but it's been downhill ever since. He has good size but has trouble beating tight coverage. He should get some attention from teams who are looking for a No. 4 receiver.

Devard Darling/Baltimore Ravens (UFA) - Before last season, Darling only caught two passes in three years of play. In year four, Darling only amassed 18 catches but averaged over 18 yards per catch. Darling is good at running after the catch and has good size. He has some upside for a team that is looking for a No. 4 receiver.

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