The Denver Broncos plan to let impending Free Agent Eric Decker test Free Agency, and do not expect him back. Also, reserve receiver Andre Caldwell is also a Free Agent, so the Broncos will have some holes to fill at the receiver position.
Lets take a look at three free agents who could replace Decker and Caldwell's spots on the roster this upcoming NFL season.
1. Hakeem Nicks, Giants:
Hakeem Nicks enters Free Agency with more questions then answers about his NFL future. The former first round pick had a promising looking future going for him after back to back seasons of 75+ catches and 1,000+ yards in 2010 and 2011. However, things went downhill for Nicks in 2012 and 2013. Nicks struggled with nagging injuries the past two years, and his production suffered as well. Nicks had three receiving touchdowns in 2012, and did not catch a single touchdown pass in 2013 despite playing in 15 games. So what Hakeem Nicks are you going to get?
Nicks has shown he can be a productive receiver in the NFL with back to back seasons of 75+ catches and topping 1,000 yards. Nicks alsp averaged 8 receiving touchdowns in his three NFL seasons. Nicks is a big, strong playmaker with outstanding hands and could help any NFL out if he's on his game.
Nicks has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and has failed to play a full 16 game season in his career. He is also coming off a dismal 2013 campaign where he did not catch a single touchdown pass, and did not top 1,000 yards for the second straight season. Nicks will be a risk for whatever team that signs him this offseason
2. James Jones, Packers:
James Jones has improved as a receiver in recent years after getting a rude awakening the last time he entered Free Agency. Despite being without Quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a good portion of the season, Jones had a solid season putting up 59 receptions for 817 yards and 3 touchdowns. Jones had a career year in 2012 when he 64 passes for 784 yards and 14 touchdown passes. Jones has proven to be a solid receiver during his seven year career.
Jones is a durable receiver who has only missed eight games(six in 2008) in his seven year career. Jones has improved as a receiver. He has corrected his dropping issue that plagued him early in his career. Jones has shown he can be a very productive receiver when given the chance. In 2012, Jones caught a very impressive 14 touchdown passes. Jones has the speed and route-running ability to be a solid veteran option on the open market.
Jones is not a true number one receiver. He has never topped 65 receptions in his career, and has only eclipsed 50 catches three times in his career. Jones has also struggled with drops at times in his career, though it seems he has corrected that issue. Jones will be 30 years old when the 2014 season kicks off, which is getting up there for skill players like Jones.
3. Golden Tate, Seahawks:
With the absence of Percy Harvin for much of the year, Golden Tate continued to provide Seattle's offense with a dependable receiver. Tate has been a solid contributor for the Seattle Seahawks, and is improving each year. This past season Tate totaled 64 receptions for 898 yards and touchdowns despite playing in a run first offense.
Tate is a durable receiver who has only missed one game in the past three seasons. Tate has improved each year he's been in the league. Has been a productive number one receiver for the Seahawks the past two years despite playing with a young Quarterback, and in a run heavy offense. Tate is also only 25 years young, and is entering the prime of his career. Tate is a tough receiver who runs excellent routes who has very good hands.
Tate doesn't have the ideal size you're looking for in a receiver. Tate is listed at only 5'10 and 202lbs. Tate also lacks big time speed and play making ability you're looking for. Also Tate has yet to eclipse 65 catches and 900 yards in his four year NFL season.
Dark Horse Option: Andre Roberts, Cardinals:
Roberts isn't a well known name in the league, but I believe in the right situation he could help out a NFL team. Roberts where he was a two game starter for the Cardinals, and caught 43 passes for 471 yards and two touchdowns. His best season was in 2012 when he started 15 games and hauled in 64 passes for 759 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Roberts has really good top end speed, and Possesses outstanding quickness and burst allowing him to get in and out of breaks rapidly. Roberts also very good hands. Roberts makes his money after the catch, possessing the moves to create big gains after the catch. Roberts can play inside or outside in the NFL. Roberts is also a durable receiver. He has only missed two games through his first four years in the NFL. Roberts has also been a productive NFL receiver despite poor Quarterback play.
Does not possess elite size for a receiver. Roberts is listed at 5'11 195 pounds. Roberts has yet to top 65 catches or 800 yards in his career, so there will be questions about whether or not he can be a starting receiver.
Top 10 Receivers via Rotoworld
- Eric Decker
- Hakeem Nicks
- Julian Edelman
- Golden Tate
- James Jones
- Andre Roberts
- Emmanuel Sanders
- Jacoby Jones
- Dexter McCluster
- Kenny Britt