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It’ll be a buyer’s market for free-agent receivers

Nicks Getty Images

As teams begin to plan their eventual 53-man rosters, there are currently 54 receivers scheduled to be available in free agency.  That’s the number of unrestricted and restricted free agents at the position who’ll be available as of March 11, barring a new contract with their current teams.

It’s bad news for the individual players, since it creates a team-friendly market.  With so many wideouts looking for new homes, owners and executives will be able to squeeze agents into taking less.

The full list appears below.  The most intriguing 10 names to watch are Anquan Boldin, Riley Cooper, Eric Decker, Julian Edelman, Jacoby Jones, Jeremy Maclin, Dexter McCluster, Hakeem Nicks, Emmanuel Sanders, and Golden Tate.

Nicks surely entered the season thinking that he could get the same five-year, $60 million package handed last year by the Dolphins to Mike Wallace.  Nicks won’t get that from the Giants.  On the open market, he may encounter teams who are concerned that his contract-year slump may not have been a one-year thing.

The list could grow, as more receivers are cut from their current contracts.  One big name to consider in that regard is Wes Welker.  The Broncos’ slot receiver will see his cap number double from $4 million to $8 million in 2014.  That could be enough to prompt the Broncos to try to squeeze Welker to take less.  If he doesn’t, he could be gone.

Likewise, Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice is expected to be dumped from the latter years of a big-money contract.

When the dust settles, the big winners could be the Patriots, who surely will be looking to bulk up at the position without spending a lot of money.  Last year, they signed Sanders to an offer sheet.  This year, they’d be able to add him without giving the Steelers a chance to match or compensation if they choose not to.

Seyi Ajirotutu (Chargers)

Danario Alexander (Chargers)

Doug Baldwin (Seahawks; restricted)

Anquan Boldin (49ers)

Deion Branch (Colts)

Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins; restricted)

Kenny Britt (Titans)

Plaxico Burress (Steelers)

Andre Caldwell (Broncos)

Austin Collie (Patriots)

Riley Cooper (Eagles)

Jerricho Cotchery (Steelers)

Josh Cribbs (Jets)

Dorin Dickerson (Lions; restricted)

Tandon Doss (Ravens; restricted)

Eric Decker (Broncos)

Julian Edelman (Patriots)

Jacoby Ford (Raiders)

Ted Ginn (Panthers)

Andrew Hawkins (Bengals; restricted)

Lavelle Hawkins (Chargers)

Devin Hester (Bears)

Darrius Heyward-Bey (Colts)

Domenik Hixon (Panthers)

Trindon Holliday (Broncos; restricted)

Lestar Jean (Texans; restricted)

Jacoby Jones (Ravens)

James Jones (Packers)

Brandon LaFell (Panthers)

Jeremy Maclin (Eagles)

Mario Manningham (49ers)

Marc Mariani (Titans)

Dexter McCluster (Chiefs)

Robert Meachem (Saints)

Marlon Moore (Dolphins)

Joseph Morgan (Saints; restricted)

Josh Morgan (Redskins)

Santana Moss (Redskins)

Louis Murphy (Giants)

Hakeem Nicks (Giants)

Kevin Ogletree (Lions)

Kassim Osgood (49ers)

Taylor Price (Jaguars)

Andre Roberts (Cardinals)

Emmanuel Sanders (Steelers)

Dane Sanzenbacher (Bengals; restricted)

Jerome Simpson (Vikings)

Micheal Spurlock (Lions)

Brandon Stokley (Ravens)

Brandon Tate (Bengals)

Golden Tate (Seahawks)

Tiquan Underwood (Buccaneers)

Damian Williams (Titans)

Kyle Williams (Chiefs)

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78 Responses to “It’ll be a buyer’s market for free-agent receivers”
  1. footballcrazyguy says: Feb 12, 2014 11:42 AM

    And the draft is loaded at that position this year as well.

  2. truehoosier62 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:44 AM

    53 receivers and not one of them is worth mortgaging the farm for.

  3. ingraven says: Feb 12, 2014 11:45 AM

    Whatever team Jacoby Jones goes to, your fans are gonna love him. Wish he could stay in Bmore.

  4. FlashPatterson says: Feb 12, 2014 11:46 AM

    Eric Decker seems to be the best available in my opinion.

  5. hawkforlife says: Feb 12, 2014 11:46 AM

    Some of these guys with hands of stone wouldn’t get a big offer if they were the only free agents on the market.

  6. thepftpoet says: Feb 12, 2014 11:47 AM

    All of these Recievers will go to Minnesota for a league-minimum contract, they all want a chance to win a Super Bowl

  7. @Cereal_22 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:47 AM

    Tandon Doss should be available as well

  8. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 12, 2014 11:48 AM

    I think Burleson should be cut if he can’t be traded. He’s not close to worth his cap number and he’s one of the top players the Lions can shed to save a few bucks. He’s on the market too as far as I’m concerned.

  9. greenisgold1265 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:49 AM

    You put Nicks over James Jones??
    Really??!?

  10. lurch61 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:49 AM

    geez…7 of those receivers spend time on the 49ers roster sometime during 2013, (moore, bolden, hawkins, manningham, collie, osgood, ginn), yet niners need so much receiver help! .

  11. gromit45 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:52 AM

    Terrell Owens can still play. Just ask him.

  12. patriotsdefense says: Feb 12, 2014 11:53 AM

    Like Talib and DRC last year, I wonder is the market will push Nicks to take a 1 year prove it deal if he can’t find the big $$$ deal he is surely looking for. And with the Giants smearing him on his way out the door maybe that is what will happen. When he is motivated, he is a great WR.

  13. trollaikman8 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:54 AM

    Miles Austin pulled a hamstring reading that long list.

    Austin and Dwayne Harris are likely to be free agents.

  14. 4allintensivepurposes says: Feb 12, 2014 11:56 AM

    It’s a cornucopia of mediocrity.

  15. The League's Crusade Against The Steelers Continues says: Feb 12, 2014 11:57 AM

    Steelers build through the draft.

  16. seahawks80 says: Feb 12, 2014 11:58 AM

    @thepftpoet

    You are right about one thing, all of these receivers want a chance to win a Super Bowl…..and that’s the reason they will NOT go to Minnesota

  17. brewdogg says: Feb 12, 2014 11:59 AM

    What’s interesting about this list of receivers that are deemed “expendable” by their current teams is the sheer volume of them that were considered good to very good just a year or two ago. I think that it just goes to show that decent receivers are about as cheap as decent running backs these days. Of course, there are still only a handful of game-changing great ones, but the list of quality #2s and #3s is going to make getting a decent payday for these guys very tough.

  18. ez4u2sa says: Feb 12, 2014 11:59 AM

    Maybe this will mean that these players can be signed for some common sense amounts that don’t short change the rest of the team.

  19. beardinals says: Feb 12, 2014 12:01 PM

    Crazy that Hester counts as a receiver. I guess return specialist isn’t really a position.

  20. ramitbaby says: Feb 12, 2014 12:03 PM

    53 receivers on the market….10 that might catch more than 20 passes next season.

  21. greenlantern75 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:04 PM

    Biggest winner is the Pats? Wouldn’t dismiss they have some needs at reciever, but no team…I mean NO TEAM…has reciever issues like the Jets…

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see 2, maybe 3 names from the above list land with my NYJ…and they will probably throw in a rookie or 2 as well…Idzik likes to buy in bulk and let them all compete it seems…

  22. robforman says: Feb 12, 2014 12:04 PM

    Isn’t Welker’s deal fully guaranteed?

  23. Spencer says: Feb 12, 2014 12:05 PM

    Waiting to see where Decker will go.

  24. beastmode5150 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:05 PM

    Niners can forget it, most receivers want to go to a team that has a QB that can actually throw it accurately, not a Good running back that occasionally hits a jump pass.

  25. justintuckrule says: Feb 12, 2014 12:06 PM

    It’s a buyers’ market unless you’re Nicks who is head and shoulders better than anyone on this list. Decker? – product of PM. James Jones? – meh and he’s a product of Rodgers.

    I’m not saying this because I’m a Giant fan but I’m saying this because Nicks has been double teamed most of his career and didn’t have one of the big 3 throwing to him. Yet, (aside from this year when he went into self-preservation mode), he was a 1,200 yd 8 TD guy. If New England signs him, might as well just give the east to them again.

  26. nehxas says: Feb 12, 2014 12:08 PM

    Receivers I want for the Jets in order – Maclin, Tate, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders and Jacoby Jones.

    Jets have plenty of money this year so I would love if they could land two of the above and be free to use their 1st rounder on Ebron or Amaro.

  27. sparty0n says: Feb 12, 2014 12:10 PM

    Nate Burleson will be available as well. The Lions cannot afford his $7M salary.

  28. intelligent cement says: Feb 12, 2014 12:10 PM

    Hester is not a receiver. Even when he was playing receiver.

  29. trollhammer20 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:11 PM

    Definitely looking like a buyer’s market. Seattle would do well to make Tate a solid, not spectacular, offer – maybe a “prove it” 1-2 year deal while the market is soft?

  30. ianwetpantscom says: Feb 12, 2014 12:14 PM

    Just think if Kevin Colbert would have given Mike Wallace a contract last year, the Steelers would have won another Super Bowl!

    #justsay’n

  31. kidsamoa260 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:15 PM

    Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse call that list ‘pedestrian’ & ‘appetizers’

  32. dalcow4 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:16 PM

    Good news for the Patriots. I don’t even like them, but I actually felt sorry for Brady this year. He had no one to throw to– his guys couldn’t get open.

  33. mylionsroaring says: Feb 12, 2014 12:17 PM

    With the Lions biggest need being a number two Wide receiver alongside Calvin this is good news. The draft is full of them too. LOOK OUT!!! Here comes the Lions!!!

  34. azarkhan says: Feb 12, 2014 12:18 PM

    Please add that bust Danny Amendola to the list.

  35. grndizzle says: Feb 12, 2014 12:19 PM

    “justintuckrule says: Feb 12, 2014 12:06 PM

    It’s a buyers’ market unless you’re Nicks who is head and shoulders better than anyone on this list. Decker? – product of PM. James Jones? – meh and he’s a product of Rodgers. ”

    I’m not that high on Decker as a #1WR but I wouldn’t call him a product of Peyton Manning. He did have 9 TD’s with Orton/Tebow throwing him the ball.

  36. denverwally says: Feb 12, 2014 12:20 PM

    nehxas says:Feb 12, 2014 12:08 PM

    Receivers I want for the Jets in order – Maclin, Tate, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders and Jacoby Jones.

    Jets have plenty of money this year so I would love if they could land two of the above and be free to use their 1st rounder on Ebron or Amaro.
    ===============================
    Why would any receiver voluntarily go to the Jests, they would be committing career suicide? Its a dysfunctional organization rivaling Cleveland, and they don’t have a QB who can throw a strong accurate pass more than 8 yards on the depth chart.
    Dream on Jests fans.

  37. ingraven says: Feb 12, 2014 12:25 PM

    @justintuckrule says:
    Feb 12, 2014 12:06 PM

    It’s a buyers’ market unless you’re Nicks who is head and shoulders better than anyone on this list. Decker? – product of PM. James Jones? – meh and he’s a product of Rodgers.
    ——————————————————
    Isn’t ANY receiver a product of their QB? I mean, who else is gonna throw them the ball?

  38. infectorman says: Feb 12, 2014 12:32 PM

    Welker is one big hit away from Danny Amendola status as far as missing games due to injury. I can’t imagine anyone, including Denver going out on a limb for him…

    Danario Alexander (if/when healthy), Jeremy Maclin and Decker top this list.

    nicks sux now

  39. coolherc says: Feb 12, 2014 12:33 PM

    @thepftpoet

    You can have all the quality receivers you want…. what good is it when you have absolutely no one on the roster that can get them the ball?

  40. joetoronto says: Feb 12, 2014 12:36 PM

    There’s lots of money available in Oaktown.

    Woot, woot!

  41. chargrz says: Feb 12, 2014 12:36 PM

    Mediocre Receivers, Mediocre!

  42. nehxas says: Feb 12, 2014 12:36 PM

    Why would any receiver voluntarily go to the Jests, they would be committing career suicide? Its a dysfunctional organization rivaling Cleveland, and they don’t have a QB who can throw a strong accurate pass more than 8 yards on the depth chart.
    Dream on Jests fans.
    ————————————————
    Any real NFL fan that has followed and watched the Jets know they aren’t close to Cleveland in terms of dysfunction. Not even close to Miami.

    Receivers will go there because the money and opportunity is there with a young team moving forward with a player’s coach.

    And clearly you haven’t been watching the Jets or else you would know the Geno’s strong suit is the long ball so you couldn’t be more wrong on all counts.

  43. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:38 PM

    I hope the Pats can hold onto Edelman and snag Boldin. They desperately need a big receiver like him.

  44. remyje says: Feb 12, 2014 12:39 PM

    When the dust settles, the big winners could be the Patriots, who surely will be looking for someone Tom Brady can overthrow.

  45. chad504boy says: Feb 12, 2014 12:42 PM

    Jimmy Graham needs an explanation for being left out of the article.

  46. tavisteelersfan says: Feb 12, 2014 12:43 PM

    I think the easiest job will be Anquan Boldin’s agent’s. No one in their right mind thinks the Raven’s benefited by dumping him, compared with finding the CAP space.

    And, day in day out, who was the 49’rs go to guy down field? True they have three superb guys in Bolden, Davis and Crabtree, so they at least can afford to lose him.

    A team serious about making a 2014 run … Bolden is on their list.

    Movin The Chains.

  47. 00maybe00next00year00 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:56 PM

    I didnt think it was possible, but after the seahawks won the superbowl, their fans became even bigger d-bags.

    Proof above ^

  48. jpiro says: Feb 12, 2014 12:57 PM

    Bears should grab Boldin, put him in the slot and just let him, , Bennett, Marshall and Jeffrey beat up DBs all year. Would be the most physical receiving corps in the league, no question.

  49. suhmonster90 says: Feb 12, 2014 12:59 PM

    NateBurleson has come forward saying he will take a paycut. I don’t think hes that great but he’ll likely still be on the team next season

  50. tigerlilac says: Feb 12, 2014 1:01 PM

    No team has more opposing fans talking about it than do the Patriots. Fans like to disparage the Jets (even I enjoy that) but fans envy the Patriots, even when they don’t make the Super Bowl. “They cheat”, “Brady overthrows receivers”, “Belichick’s a jerk”, “CBS and Goodell love Kraft”, “the refs favor the Patriots”, and a cacophony of other delusions is music to a Patriots fan’s ears.

  51. tharm2012 says: Feb 12, 2014 1:02 PM

    I read this because it had nothing to do with Michael Sams.

  52. MasMacho says: Feb 12, 2014 1:03 PM

    I’m sure Richard Sherman would tell you he can cover them all at the same time.

    We’ll take Maclin in SEA please. Harvin Maclin would be handy duo and a redundant speed option.

  53. sidepull says: Feb 12, 2014 1:21 PM

    Boldin is a baller period. Worth a contract.
    Maclin only if……

    Nicks has shown great stuff but I don’t like the fact that he took the year off. I mean really whats up with that? Who does that? Quitters thats who. Dont go blaming it on Eli or OC. Nice excuse but that sucker took the year off.

  54. azarkhan says: Feb 12, 2014 1:24 PM

    Anquan Boldin will be 34 next October. Not sure why anybody thinks he is the answer to a team who needs a wideout.

  55. sumkat says: Feb 12, 2014 1:27 PM

    Before he met Chip Kelly, is there anyone on earth who though Riley Cooper would be mentioned on this list at this point?

    Proof the man is a genius, lol. Good for Cooper, he had a solid year. But IMO, he priced himself out of Philly. They can re-sign Maclin (probably for less or similar money because of the injury), and still look to upgrade the position with someone like Decker or Boldin. Although I think it’s more likely that they re-sign Maclin, let Cooper walk, and look to fill the WR pool in the draft

  56. William Rogers says: Feb 12, 2014 1:29 PM

    Would love to see the Chiefs spend some money on Decker, and Golden Tate. Resign Williams and their WR corps is solid.

  57. rockislander says: Feb 12, 2014 1:32 PM

    A lot of these guys just aren’t that good. Love Boldin, even though he’s older. He’s just one of those guys who fights every possession. On the flip side of that, is Decker. He was absolutely shut down in the SB by tough, aggressive CB’s. Tells me a lot about him. D. Thomas and Welker got their clocks cleaned a few times, but kept on fighting and caught balls. Decker? Not so much, I wouldn’t touch him. He’s just too soft. But someone will overpay for him. Give me Boldin anyday. And Maclin is a risk, but could be a big reward for someone.

  58. whatjusthapped says: Feb 12, 2014 1:42 PM

    Surprised James Jones wasn’t listed in the top 10, he only lead the NFL in receiving TD’s in 2012.

  59. chris6523 says: Feb 12, 2014 1:50 PM

    If Decker makes it to free agency, he’ll get the biggest contract. The market for Boldin will be interesting. He is far and away the most accomplished name on the list, but is 33. WR is one of those positions where a savvy vet can enjoy a career past the age of 35. Not sure if anyone would be willing put up serious money on Boldin, but I wouldn’t bet against the guy having 3 more productive seasons. Probably isn’t anyone else to get too excited about. Nicks might draw interest because someone probably will think they can make a player out of him, but I’d shy away from a guy who has 3 td catches out of 201 passes thrown his way over the last two years. Jacoby Jones might draw some interest.

  60. shaggytoodle says: Feb 12, 2014 1:51 PM

    Few WR in FA has ever been worth putting down big $. The great ones, teams refuse to let Megatron, Andre Johnson, or Fitzgerald sniff FA.

    The other option is to trade for a WR that teams figure will leave, like TO, Moss, Boldin, and Marshall.

    FA is full of solid second and slot WRs. If they were truly #1 WRs they would be worth keeping around.

    The thing is you can’t pay those guys #1 money but that’s what they feel the are worth. That’s how Phins and Vikings got into some bad deals last off season.

  61. hawksforever says: Feb 12, 2014 2:02 PM

    “All of these Recievers will go to Minnesota for a league-minimum contract, they all want a chance to win a Super Bowl”

    When is the Vikings next love boat cruise?

  62. hanspard says: Feb 12, 2014 2:02 PM

    Man, whatever happened to Jacoby Ford? He used to be exciting. Not the same since his injury.

  63. bobbyhoying says: Feb 12, 2014 2:08 PM

    I think the Eagles would like to keep Cooper. Foles loves throwing to him and he can block. Kelly likes big guys. I can’t see Maclin helping the running game. I’ll bet the Jets give Maclin a good offer because Marty is there.

  64. steelerfanjo says: Feb 12, 2014 2:15 PM

    Pats can have Sanders. Draft is where the WR’s are loaded. Erik Lora – best hands in the draft will be the steal of this draft!

  65. roastbeefsandwich says: Feb 12, 2014 2:19 PM

    Jacoby Jones is worth a look. Hell, he had Joe Flaco for a QB. Plus, he is a pretty dangerous return man.

  66. justintuckrule says: Feb 12, 2014 2:30 PM

    DeSean Jackson went into self-preservation mode in 2012 and played great in 2013 after he was paid. Can’t blame a guy for tanking when players are tearing ACLs once a game. There was a $20M signing bonus and pot of gold at the end of Nicks’ rainbow if he made it through 2013 unscathed. Any of you would have done the same thing. This whole “quit on his team” talk is easy to make when it’s not YOUR money.

  67. dietrich43 says: Feb 12, 2014 2:32 PM

    They have Mike Wallace to ‘thank’ for lowering the bar and their salaries.

  68. missingsock215 says: Feb 12, 2014 2:58 PM

    Maclin stays in Philly.

  69. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 12, 2014 3:29 PM

    Anquan, how many ways can I say I’m sorry, please forgive me.

    – Ozzie Newsome

  70. realitycheckbaby says: Feb 12, 2014 3:46 PM

    Sources tell me Boldin’s agent discreetly approached the Hawks and asked to sign a low ball contract to win another ring.

    He said he realizes SF loses clutch games.

  71. themagicfanguy says: Feb 13, 2014 12:28 PM

    James Jones is the best WR on that list, easy.

  72. bus035 says: Feb 13, 2014 9:05 PM

    I don’t know about anybody else, but Kenny Britt still intrigues the hell out of me. I know the guy doesn’t have the best history with his knees (I believe) but he is still is relatively young in NFL terms and when healthy the kid has a boat load of talent. Go Hawks!

  73. wayneflores says: Feb 15, 2014 8:31 PM

    Good talent in the draft, less expensive. Don’t want to blow all that Raider $$$$ on one player. Need real QB. Sort of like when we had Carson.

  74. skinsfan83 says: Feb 17, 2014 1:55 PM

    My Skins are gonna take two from that list… Over pay one… But I would love Jacoby Jones opposite Garcon… Robinson to the slot since Moss will be gone… and pray that he can hold onto the ball…

  75. billco6192013 says: Feb 21, 2014 9:16 AM

    GIANTS SHOULD TRY FOR EMMANUAL SANDERS ,KIDS GOT TALENT AND CAN PRODUCE.HE IS STILL YOUNG.

  76. billco6192013 says: Feb 21, 2014 9:21 AM

    SANDERS IS WHAT NICKS SHOULD HAVE PLAYED LIKE ALL THESE YEARS.

  77. billco6192013 says: Feb 21, 2014 9:23 AM

    SANDERS IS WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS AND THE GIANTS LET HIM GO TO THE STEELERS.Any more questions.

  78. billco6192013 says: Feb 21, 2014 9:25 AM

    ELI BEST PASS IS THE DEEP BALL AND THIS GUY CAN GO DEEP.SANDERS WE NEED YOU BABY.

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