Updated: Sep 6
NFL Free Agents: Wide Receiver Edition
Written by: Andrew Felton
With Super Bowl 56 over and The Los Angeles Rams crowned as champions, winning in their own backyard, SoFi stadium, it is now time for the off-season and free agency rumours to begin. There are many top players which enter free agency each year, with this year being no different. For this edition let's take a look at some of the top players in the Wide Receiver position and where they could be playing next season.
Davante Adams, (Green Bay Packers)
One of the biggest names entering free agency across all positions is Green Bay Packer Davante Adams. Adams is coming off a fantastic season with 1,553 receiving yards, 123 receptions and 11 touchdowns. Adams has been one of the best receivers in the league over the past few seasons and has had a great relationship with his quarterback Aaron Rodgers. However, with uncertainty around Rodgers' future, will Adams want to stay in Green Bay?
With rumours of contract talks already broken down, their will be a whole list of teams looking to secure Adams and a few possibilities are, the Las Vegas Raiders, as Adams would love to play with his college team mate Derek Carr, Los Angeles Chargers, who have a fantastic up and coming quarterback in Justin Herbert and plenty of room in their salary cap to land him, looking to improve their offensive power and finally a team who may be best fit for Adams could be the New England Patriots. With the Pats needing a WR1, Belichick's influence on signing players and joining one of the most successful franchise's in recent years, the only issue with Adams signing could be the available cap space.
Chris Godwin, (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Another top Wide Receiver entering free agency is Chris Godwin, who unfortunately suffered an ACL/MCL tear on his knee in week 15, ending his season prematurely. Godwin up until that point was a key receiver for the Bucs and had racked up 1,103 receiving yards off 98 receptions, with 5 touchdowns and was a key target for Tom Brady. With reports saying his surgery was a success and recovery should be routine, where could Godwin land next season, with the Bucs in a transition period?
Plenty of teams will want Chris Godwin, starting with the Cleveland Browns, who want to turn their franchise into a Super Bowl winning team. The only issue with the Browns could be the thought of playing with Baker Mayfield and all of the issues surrounding Odell Beckham Jr last season. Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, Miami dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars are also all screaming out for a top Wide Receiver and currently going through re-builds trying to take their teams back to the heights of the NFL playoffs.
Mike Williams, (Los Angeles Chargers)
(Image by: Jay Biggerstaff - USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Williams enters free agency after having one of his best seasons yet, with 1,146 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns, it is highly likely that the Chargers will put a franchise tag on Williams, keeping him there for another season, with the cap space to do so. There is the option of letting Williams go and picking up a free agent such as Davante Adams, but this leaves Williams searching for a new team.
There will be plenty of options for Williams to almost pick and choose where he wants to go, with the two biggest teams being the Las Vegas Raiders and Indianapolis Colts to help support their Wide Receiver core of Hunter Renfrow or Michael Pittman Jr. Other teams available to Williams are the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will be looking to help the progression of Trevor Lawrence, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, who have the worst Wide Receiver core in the league and the Cleveland Browns where he will be the number one Wide Receiver.
Odell Beckham Jr, (Los Angeles Rams)
Super Bowl champion (yes we can finally say it) Odell Beckham Jr will enter free agency, but not how he imagined. After being dropped from the Browns mid-season and picked up by the Rams, going on to win the Super Bowl, Beckham suffered a non-contact injury during the Super Bowl which ruled him OUT for more than half the game. After playing a huge roll on offense for the Rams since joining, it will be more than likely OBJ will look to run it back for one more season and stay at the Rams. However, with them already over their cap and plenty of free agents to re-sign, it is always good to look at his other options.
After having to deal with mediocre quarterbacks most of his career, Beckham will only look at teams with a strong player in this position, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs, who are maybe only one or two players away from reaching the Super Bowl once again. The Seattle Seahawks could also be in contention as they always rely on Russel Wilson to lead the way at quarterback, providing him with more options to target. There may even be a possibility for a move to the Arizona Cardinals joining Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins to push for Super Bowl glory.
Michael Gallup, (Dallas Cowboys)
Gallup is in a rather unfortunate situation with the Dallas Cowboys but, only due to the talent they have at the Wide Receiver position. With a season ending injury in week nine against the Cardinals, Gallups stock may have dropped in this free agency window. In saying this, there is a chance he could stay at 'America's Team' however, with other wide receivers such a CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and even running back Ezekiel Elliot getting most of the touches, will he want to go elsewhere and be more involved?
Interest for Gallup could come in the way of Kansas City Chiefs and the Houston Texans, who are both looking to build a team with more depth at this position. Another option is the New Orleans Saints who will be busy looking for options and could attract Gallup as their number one receiver with Michael Thomas looking likely to move on. There are also teams mentioned previously such as Indianapolis Colts looking to back up Pittman Jr and the Cleveland Browns who could fall short of having any decent receivers when the season starts.
Allen Robinson II, (Chicago Bears)
Coming off two 1,000+ yard seasons and playing some of his best football, Allen Robinson was another Wide Receiver who's injury cost him a lot of playing time this season and in a poor Chicago Bears team with uncertainty at quarterback, there are other teams who will take interest in acquiring Robinson.
Starting with the Miami Dolphins, who's hopes of giving Tua a few more offensive weapons and adding support for Jaylen Waddle, will push to land an extra receiving threat and have the cap space to do so. Robinson also may have an option to return to his former team Jacksonville Jaguars as a number one Wide Receiver and finally there is the New England Patriots who want a team that can get back to the Super Bowl and help with the development of Mac Jones.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, (Pittsburgh Steelers)
The final Wide Receiver to talk about in free agency is JuJu Smith-Schuster, only managing to play five regular season games and one playoff game, injury has limited what he could achieve in what looks to be his last season for the Steelers. JuJu is a player who has maybe not lived up to the hype around him, but a move away from Pittsburgh could be just what he needs.
The former pro bowler could look to land in Los Angeles with the Chargers as they have plenty of cap space with possible movements around their current Wide Receivers and playing alongside Justin Herbert could be just what JuJu needs. The Baltimore Ravens wanted to sign JuJu before he elected to do one more year with the Steelers and with Baltimore having a disappointing season JuJu could be one answer to their many problems. Kansas City Chiefs also declared interest in JuJu last season and may try getting a deal done, as their only top receivers are Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.