Around the League: Free Agent Wide Receivers

If the Vikings end up losing Koren Robinson in free agency, they could turn to the free agent market for a replacement. We find out what some of the beat writers around the league are saying about the free agent WRs in their market.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antwaan Randle El also may have played in his final game for Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl. He will be an unrestricted free agent in March.

  • Green Bay Packers WR Antonio Chatman was more than serviceable in a prominent role (three starts) and more than doubled his 2004 output with 49 catches. He figures to be re-signed as a restricted free agent.

  • Minnesota Vikings WR Koren Robinson, never used as a kick returner in his first four seasons with Seattle, was elected to the Pro Bowl at that spot after leading the NFC and finishing fifth in the NFL with a 26.0-yard return average. He also had a touchdown return in an upset victory over the New York Giants.

  • Atlanta Falcons WR Brian Finneran was the Falcons' most consistently productive receiver for the first two months of the season. The Falcons should try hard to re-sign Finneran, who triggered a clause in his contract that made him an unrestricted free agent.

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Edell Shepherd will be remembered for dropping the game-tying TD pass in the playoff loss to Washington and is a restricted free agent.

  • Bucs WR Ike Hilliard was a serviceable backup and is an unrestricted free agent.

  • San Francisco 49ers WR Brandon Lloyd is scheduled to be a restricted free agent, and the 49ers have sent mixed signals about what they think of him. He probably will be back playing under a one-year tender. Lloyd is not very physical, and he appears incapable of going over the middle. However, he is capable of making some mind-boggling acrobatic catches. Lloyd was the team's leading receiver with just 48 catches for 733 yards and five touchdowns.

  • Buffalo Bills WR Josh Reed (32 catches, 449 yards), an unrestricted free agent, had a nice bounce-back year and is likely to be retained as the primary slot receiver.

  • New England Patriots WR David Givens is an unrestricted free agent and seems destined to cash in big time. His career highs in catches (59 this season) and yards (874 in 2004) appear modest, but the Patriots' spread-the-wealth approach to the passing game keeps anyone (other than Deion Branch in the playoffs) from posting big numbers. When Branch was sidelined by a knee injury in 2004, Givens had three straight 100-yard games - a fact that did not go unnoticed around the league.

  • Patroits WRs Tim Dwight (19-332, three TDs) and Andre' Davis (9-190, one TD) are both free agents who showed some big-play ability but can't be considered must-keeps.

  • Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne will be an unrestricted free agent but team president Bill Polian has said that he is committed to signing him to a career contract.

  • San Diego Chargers WR Reche Caldwell, a free agent, probably won't be brought back as the team has grown weary of his up-and-down play.


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