2017 NFL Free Agents: Wide Receivers

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2017 NFL Free Agency: Star rating is out of five. Age listing as of Sept. 1, 2017.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

  1. Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns. Age: 28.
    Signed with Redskins (1 year, $8 million)

    Terrelle Pryor didn’t quite reach Charles Woodson’s projected 1,800-yardage mark, but he established himself as a dynamic weapon and a legitimate No. 1 receiver in the NFL. Pryor is still learning the position and had to deal with pedestrian quarterbacks all year, so he could be even better in the next couple of seasons.

  2. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears. Age: 27.
    Signed with Eagles (1 year, $14 million)

    Alshon Jeffery is a very talented, big receiver, but he hasn’t been able to stay on the field. Whether it’s an injury or a PED-related suspension, the Bears haven’t been able to trust him very much. The silver lining is that Chicago might be able to retain him at a reduced rate.

  3. Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins. Age: 31.
    Signed with 49ers (3 years)

    Pierre Garcon turns 31 in August, but he should be able to play well for quite a while because of his elite route-running skills. Garcon caught 79 passes for 1,041 yards in 2016.

  4. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs. Age: 29.
    Signed with Ravens (2 years)

    Jeremy Maclin’s release from Kansas City on Friday night was surprising, to say the least. Maclin struggled in 2016 – he caught 44 balls for 536 yards and two touchdowns – but did so while injured. Maclin snatched 87 receptions for 1,088 yards the year before, and this was despite being paired with the pedestrian Alex Smith. Maclin hauled in 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in Philadelphia in 2014, so this is the sort of potential he has, if healthy. All indications are that he’s close to 100 percent. Maclin, just 29, is still a passable No. 1 receiver and an extremely strong No. 2 option. Teams that make the most sense for Maclin are the Redskins, Cowboys, Ravens and Bills. All four teams have solid quarterbacks and are in need of receiving help.

  5. Eric Decker, WR, Jets. Age: 30.
    Signed with Titans (1 year)

    Eric Decker is a great commodity. He just turned 30, and he’s coming off an injury-ravaged 2016 campaign, but it’s almost certain that he can still perform on a high level. Prior to 2016, Decker had eclipsed 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in three of four seasons. He projects as a terrific No. 2 receiver, and the teams that miss out on Jeremy Maclin can sign him if he’s released. Some teams that make sense are the ones I mentioned for Maclin: Bills, Ravens, Cowboys and Redskins. Additionally, the Panthers make sense, and the Chiefs can also be included if they think they can get Decker at a far lower price than what they had to pay Maclin. Teams shouldn’t give up more than a fifth-round pick for Decker, as they should be aware that they could obtain him on the open market, given the worsened trade value.

  6. DeSean Jackson, WR, Redskins. Age: 30.
    Signed with Buccaneers

    DeSean Jackson produced the fifth 1,000-yard season of his 9-year pro career in 2016, but turned 30 in the process. Jackson will continue to be a downfield threat in 2017, but he’ll lose his deep speed soon enough, so he shouldn’t be signed to a long-term deal. The scuttlebutt is that Jackson is headed back to Philadelphia.

  7. Adam Thielen (RFA), WR, Vikings. Age: 27.
    Re-signed with Vikings (3 years, $17 million)

    If Adam Thielen were on the Patriots, he would be producing monstrous fantasy numbers, much like Julian Edelman, Wes Welker, etc. Thielen is a very crafty slot receiver who came close to reaching 1,000 receiving yards in 2016.

  8. Dontrelle Inman (RFA), WR, Chargers. Age: 28.
    Tendered by Chargers (2nd round)

    In the wake of some injuries, the 6-foot-3 Dontrelle Inman became Philip Rivers’ go-to receiver. He’ll take a back seat to Keenan Allen next year, as it would be a shock if San Diego allowed Inman to hit free agency.

  9. Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets. Age: 33.
    Signed with Giants (2 years, $12 million)

    Brandon Marshall had posted 1,000-plus yards in eight of nine seasons heading into 2016, but he saw his production drop last year, as he caught 59 balls for 788 yards and three touchdowns. Some of that had to do with age – Marshall turns 33 at the end of March – but he dealt with terrible quarterbacking, and he also suffered multiple injuries. Marshall will rebound at least a bit in 2017, but there’s no telling how much he has left in the tank.

  10. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/KR, Vikings. Age: 26.
    Signed with Raiders

    It’s difficult to grade Cordarrelle Patterson. On one hand, he’s been an absolute failure as a receiver. He was a first-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft, and he just set a career-high in receptions with only 52. On the other hand, Patterson, just 26, still has tons of potential, and he’s also a dynamic kick returner.

  11. Taylor Gabriel (RFA), WR, Falcons. Age: 26.
    Tendered by Falcons (2nd round)

    Taylor Gabriel has been a nifty gadget player for the Falcons, but he’s very talented and young (26 in February), and his role will figure to increase in 2017.

  12. Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins. Age: 25.
    Re-signed with Dolphins (4 years, $32 million)

    The one thing that stands out to me about Kenny Stills is that he’s only going to be 25 in April. It feels like he’s been around forever! Stills is a situational deep threat, which would explain his yards-per-catch average (42 receptions, 726 yards), but despite an amazing catch in the playoffs at Pittsburgh, he has poor hands and tends to drop a lot of passes.

  13. Torrey Smith, WR, 49ers. Age: 28.
    Signed with Eagles (3 years, $15 million)

    It was obvious Torrey Smith was going to be a bust signing when he left a perennial playoff contender, taking the money and going to one of the worst organizations in professional sports. Smith was horrible, logging 53 receptions in two years. Granted, he had horrible quarterbacks throwing the ball to him, but his heart and effort were lacking. Smith could rebound in a new home, but I have to wonder if he has mentally checked out of football.

  14. Michael Floyd, WR, Patriots. Age: 27.
    Signed with Vikings

    Michael Floyd has way more talent than a two-star free agent, but he comes with off-the-field issues and lethargy concerns.

  15. Robert Woods, WR, Bills. Age: 25.
    Signed with Rams (5 years, $39 million)

    Robert Woods has yet to live up to his second-round billing. He caught 10 passes for 162 yards in a game versus Seattle this past season, but has done nothing otherwise. He’s still only 25 in April, so perhaps he’ll be able to improve in the near future.

  16. Kamar Aiken, WR, Ravens. Age: 28.
    Signed with Colts

    Kamar Aiken was one of the few silver linings for the Ravens in their disastrous 2015 campaign. He proved that he can be a quality No. 2 receiver. However, he took a back seat to other healthy players in 2016, so he had just 29 receptions on the year.

  17. Kendall Wright, WR, Titans. Age: 27.
    Signed with Bears (1 year, $4 million)

    Kendall Wright had a terrific 2013 campaign, catching 94 passes for 1,079 yards, but he’s been a train wreck since. He’s a knucklehead who isn’t taking his career seriously, but the potential is there for him to be a solid No. 2 receiver.

  18. Ted Ginn, WR/KR, Panthers. Age: 32.
    Signed with Saints

    Ted Ginn eclipsed the 50-catch barrier for the Panthers this past season and still served as a dangerous kick returner. However, Ginn turns 32 in April, so he doesn’t have much time remaining in the NFL.

  19. Kenny Britt, WR, Rams. Age: 28.
    Kenny Britt eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career in 2016 despite playing with some terrible quarterbacks. Britt possesses very good physical talent, but has always battled horrible cases of lethargy. He didn’t try whatsoever in Cleveland, but perhaps that’ll change now that he has to play for another contract.

  20. Anquan Boldin, WR, Lions. Age: 36.
    Announced retirement

    Anquan Boldin turns 37 in October, but he has still shown hat he can be a solid possession receiver. He caught 67 passes and scored eight touchdowns in 2016.

  21. Victor Cruz, WR, Bears. Age: 30.
    Victor Cruz was once a very talented receiver, but a torn patellar tendon has wrecked his career. Cruz caught just 39 passes for 586 yards and a touchdown last year, and he turned 30 in November. It’s possible that he could continue to rebound, but it’s more likely that he’ll continue to be a shell of his former self.

  22. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Eagles. Age: 24.
    Dorial Green-Beckham has barely done anything in the NFL – he has caught 32 and 36 passes in his first two seasons – but he has big-time potential as an athletic, 6-foot-5 target. He hasn’t been able to put it together mentally yet, but he turned just 24 this offseason, so he has time to develop, especially if he latches on with a strong coaching staff. Some teams that make sense for Green-Beckham include the Cowboys, Lions, Rams, Bills and Jets.

  23. Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Cowboys (4 years, $17 million)
  24. Brandon LaFell, WR, Bengals. Age: 30. — Re-signed with Bengals
  25. Jeremy Kerley, WR, 49ers. Age: 28. — Signed with Jets
  26. Brian Quick, WR, Rams. Age: 28. — Signed with Redskins
  27. Marquess Wilson, WR, Bears. Age: 24.
  28. Marquise Goodwin, WR, Bills. Age: 26. — Signed with 49ers
  29. Justin Hunter, WR, Bills. Age: 26. — Signed with Steelers
  30. Charles Johnson (RFA), WR, Vikings. Age: 28. — Signed with Panthers
  31. Russell Shepard, WR, Buccaneers. Age: 26. — Signed with Panthers (3 years)
  32. Stevie Johnson, WR, Chargers. Age: 31.
  33. Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers. Age: 34.
  34. Albert Wilson (RFA), WR, Chiefs. Age: 25. — Tendered by Chiefs
  35. Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars. Age: 27.
  36. Brice Butler, WR, Cowboys. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Cowboys
  37. Marc Mariani, WR/KR, Titans. Age: 30.
  38. Aaron Dobson, WR, Cardinals. Age: 26.
  39. Aldrick Robinson, WR, Falcons. Age: 28. — Signed with 49ers
  40. Quinton Patton, WR, 49ers. Age: 27. — Signed with Jets
  41. Jordan Norwood, WR, Broncos. Age: 30.
  42. Rod Streater, WR, 49ers. Age: 29. — Signed with Bills
  43. Philly Brown (RFA), WR, Panthers. Age: 25. — Signed with Bills
  44. Jaron Brown, WR, Cardinals. Age: 27.
  45. Deonte Thompson, WR/KR, Bears. Age: 28. — Signed with Bills
  46. Eddie Royal, WR, Bears. Age: 31.
  47. Andre Holmes, WR, Raiders. Age: 29. — Signed with Bills
  48. Eric Weems, WR/KR, Titans. Age: 32. — Re-signed with Titans
  49. Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns. Age: 31. — Signed with Patriots
  50. Andre Roberts, WR, Lions. Age: 29. — Signed with Falcons
  51. Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers. Age: 26. — Signed with Bears

  52. Bryan Walters, WR, Jaguars. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Jaguars
  53. Stedman Bailey, WR, Rams. Age: 26.
  54. Tavarres King, WR, Giants. Age: 27.
  55. Bennie Fowler (RFA), WR, Broncos. Age: 31.
  56. Marcus Easley, WR, Bills. Age: 29.
  57. Brandon Tate, WR, Bills. Age: 29. — Re-signed with Bills
  58. Michael Campanaro, WR/KR, Ravens. Age: 26. — Tendered by Ravens
  59. Brian Hartline, WR, Browns. Age: 30.
  60. Brittan Golden (RFA), WR, Cardinals. Age: 29.
  61. Cecil Shorts, WR, Buccaneers. Age: 29.
  62. Chris Matthews, WR, Ravens. Age: 27. — Re-signed with Ravens
  63. Brenton Bersin, WR, Panthers. Age: 27.
  64. Nick Williams, WR, Falcons. Age: 26.
  65. Percy Harvin, WR, Bills. Age: 29. — Announced retirement
  66. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Saints. Age: 29.
  67. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Browns. Age: 32.
  68. Marques Colston, WR, Saints. Age: 34.
  69. James Jones, WR, Packers. Age: 33.
  70. Jerome Simpson, WR, 49ers. Age: 31.
  71. Greg “Mr. Reliable” Little, WR, Bills. Age: 28.

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