Subtlety has never been a strong point for the Redskins. Under Daniel Snyder,
the Redskins philosophy has been to declare to their intentions and then they go
make it happen. This brashness has ticked off other teams and the media, but
has rarely prevented the Skins from getting done what they want to do. As Joe
Gibbs took over, the bold ways have toned down a bit, but the Redskins still
usually get what they want.
So when everyone knows the Redskins want to
add a wide receiver, teams take notice. Bill Polian, GM of the Colts, went as
far to say that Reggie Wayne 'won't be a Redskin'. Telling Snyder what he can't
have may not be a smartest move, but the Colts will place the franchise tag on
Wayne and prevent him from signing with other teams.
Assuming Wayne is
off the market, who does that leave for the Redskins to sign? Here's a closer
look at the top 5 unrestricted free agent receivers (in alphabetical
Ranking WR 3, Overall 24
Bryant finally began to achieve his vast potential
in his 2nd season with the Browns. There is always question marks about guys
who have career years just as they are about to hit free agency, but Bryant has
always had considerable upside. His numbers look even better when you consider
the below average quarterbacks he had throwing him the ball this year.
On the downside, the 56% catch percentage (percentage of completions on
balls thrown intended for a receiver) is low for a starting wide out. Bryant is
also reputed to have an attitude issue, having already worn his welcome out with
the Cowboys. Of course signing ex-Cowboys is always a concern, but on the plus
side he'd be very motivated to shove it in Bill Parcells face again.
62% catch percentage
Ranking WR 1, Overall 21
From the land
that brought you David Patten, here comes former teammate Givens. Despite
coming from the same system, Givens is much more of a possession guy than
Patten. Givens has played 4 years in the league, and has had two consecutive
strong seasons. Givens has also produced well in the playoffs, which the staff
should look fondly on. That catch percentage is a good number for a possession
There really isn't a lot of downside to Givens. He is what he
is. If the Skins want to add an elite receiver, Givens isn't that player. He
is an above average player, who'll give you 50-60 catches per year. Givens does
come with some injury concerns, as he's missed a few games every season since
joining the league.
65% catch percentage
Ranking WR 6, Overall 30
If you were to draw up the perfect
compliment to Moss and David Patten, Jurevicius would be your guy. He's tall,
fairly physical and has good hands. Jurevicius also proved to be a good red
zone target this year with 10 touchdowns, more than any receiver on Washington.
Jurevicius would also be a good security blanket for Jason Campbell if he does
see action in 2006.
On the negative side, Jurevicius hasn't exactly
proven to be an iron man. He's been injured and missed significant time in 2 of
the past 3 seasons. Jurevicius is the definition of a possession receiver, that
12.6 yards per catch rate is his highest since leaving the Giants in 2001. It
wouldn't surprise anyone in the slightest if Jurevicius is pulling on a Redskins
jersey come training camp.
Ranking WR NR, Overall NR
Another player who fits the bill for what the
Redskins may want in a new receiver. McCardell has had a great career, with
over 800 catches to date. He's played with and had tremendous success with Mark Brunell back in Jacksonville. With Brunell he was one of the better receivers
in the NFL, surpassing 80 catches and 1000 yards in 4 of the 6 seasons they
spent together. McCardell would be an interesting signing as he was cut by the
Redskins way back in Gibbs' 1st tenure.
Obviously the big downside to
McCardell is age. He's 36 years old, and has played 14 years in the NFL. Older
receivers tend to break down quickly and if McCardell falls off that cliff, it
would leave the Redskins without that reliable number 2 that they so desperately
need. Money may be an issue with McCardell as well, as evidenced by his hold
out in Tampa Bay.
Ranking WR 7, Overall 25
Randle-El is an interesting prospect. Being
that he played mainly as a quarterback in college, there is still potential for
him to improve. He's very quick and would solidify two weaknesses when you add
his punt return abilities to the mix. As witnessed in the Super Bowl, Randle-El
also brings his ability to throw and would add an element of surprise to the
On the other hand, Randle-El is very similar to Santana Moss.
Would the Redskins want two such comparable players? That 50% catch percentage
is also pretty pathetic for a receiver, and Randle-El's career high is only 47
catches which isn't very impressive. Randle-El has also been a fumble prone
over the years. Another concern is that Randle-El will probably end up being
over paid off his visibility in the playoffs.
While the Redskins
could go in another direction (restricted free agents, waiting for cuts), it is
likely that one of these five players will be a Redskin next year. After sizing
up the candidates, Givens is the best fit. He has good hands and is relatively
young. After Givens, the other candidates are either older or don't fit the
So Redskin fans the question is this – who would you
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