The Philadelphia Eagles traded for one wide receiver and signed another in free agency last offseason and the two veteran newcomers accelerated the development of young quarterback Carson Wentz on the way to a Super Bowl championship.
The Eagles acquired Alshon Jeffery in a trade with Chicago and signed Torrey Smith in free agency. They combined to catch 93 passes for 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns. Their success in Philadelphia seems to have opened the door for veteran receivers this offseason with several name commodities changing teams.
So the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll is which NFL team got the best deal on a wide receiver in free agency? Can one of these receivers be the Alshon Jeffery (9 touchdowns and a Super Bowl ring) of 2018? Here are your options:
Danny Amendola, Miami. Age: 32. Contract: 2 years, $12 million, $8.25 million guaranteed. Amendola caught a modest 61 passes for 659 yards with two touchdowns in 2017. But the Patriots dubbed Amendola “Danny Playoff” – and if that’s the receiver the Dolphins signed on the cheap, they have a steal. He caught 11 passes for 112 yard in the AFC semifinals against Tennessee, seven passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns in the AFC title game against Jacksonville, and eight passes for 152 yards against Philadelphia in the Super Bowl.
Michael Crabtree, Baltimore. Age: 30. Contract: 3 years, $21 million, $13 million. Crabtree arrived in the NFL as the 10th overall pick of the 2009 draft by the San Francisco 4ers but has generated only two 1,000-yard seasons in his nine-year career with no Pro Bowls. But he did lead the Raiders last season with his 58 catches for 618 yards with eight touchdowns.
Jarvis Landry, Cleveland. Age: 25. Contract (inherited): 1 year, $15.982 million. The Miami Dolphins slapped a one-year franchise tag on Landry and then traded him to the Browns for a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 and a seventh-rounder in 2019. That seems a relatively cheap price to pay for a player who led the NFL in receptions last season. Landry caught 112 passes for 987 yards with nine touchdowns for the Dolphins last season.
Jordy Nelson, Oakland. Age: 32. Contract: 2 years, $15 million, $13 million guaranteed. From 2013 through 2015 with a healthy Aaron Rodgers, Nelson as among the best wide receivers in the game. He caught 85 passes for 1,314 yards with eight TDs in 2013, 98 passes for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014 and after sitting out the 2015 season with a knee injury, he returned to catch 97 passes for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2016. But with Rodgers missing nine games with a shoulder injury in 2017, Nelson managed only 53 receptions for 482 yards and six touchdowns, so the Packers cut him. He signed with the Raiders a day later.
Paul Richardson, Washington. Age: 26. Contract: 5 years, $40 million, $16.5 million guaranteed. Richardson played in the shadows of Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse during his first three seasons, catching only 51 passes. But with the trade of Kearse to the Jets in 2017, Richardson became a starter and caught 44 passes for 703 yards with six touchdowns. The Redskins jumped at the chance to sign his 4.40 speed.
Allen Robinson, Chicago. Age: 24. Contract: 3 years, $42 million, $25.2 million guaranteed. A second-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2014, Robinson started as a rookie but exploded in his second season with the Jaguars in 2015, catching 80 passes for 1,400 yards with 14 touchdowns on his way to the Pro Bowl. He caught 73 passes in 2016, then missed the final 15 games of the 2017 season with a knee injury. The Bears signed him with the hopes he can help accelerate the development of their young quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Mike Wallace, Philadelphia. Age: 31. Contract: 1 year, $2.5 million. A nine-year veteran, Wallace has had three 1,000-yard seasons – 2011 and 2011 with Pittsburgh and 2016 with the Baltimore Ravens. He was the top target on the flank for the Ravens again in 2017, catching 52 passes for 748 yards and four touchdowns. He signed with the Super Bowl champions with an eye on replacing Torrey Smith as the speed element in the passing attack.
Sammy Watkins, Kansas City. Age: 24. Contract: 3 years, $48 million, $30 million guaranteed. The fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft by Buffalo, Watkins had one elite season in three with the Bills, catching 60 passes for 1,047 yards with 9 touchdowns in 2015. After injuries limited him to 28 catches in eight games in 2016, the Bills traded Watkins to the Rams. He caught only 39 passes for the NFC West champions but led the team with his eight TD receptions. The Chiefs signed him with the hopes his speed can accelerate the development of their young quarterback Patrick Mahomes.